Cracking Up

on September 30, 1994 by Dale Winogura
   Is there anything less funny or dramatic than a desperate standup comic tyring to be funny and dramatic? Unlike Rod Serling's trenchant 1957 "The Comedian," actor/writer/director/producer/editor Matt Mitler disastrously fails to perceive the causes and effects of show-business pressures. The so-called tragicomic downfall of an aspiring actor is rendered void in Mitler's hatefully obnoxious lead performance, superficial writing and vacuous direction.
   But then everyone here is a moronic clown (except for a few female roles), spewing pathetic jokes and uncreative routines. Even the dangers of coke addiction are breezed over in favor of broad farce and nonexistent personal conflicts. Unwatchable, this irritating 1993 production is unlikely to do anything but gather dust on video shelves--if it even makes it onto them.    Starring Matt Mitler and Jason Brill. Directed, written and produced by Matt Mitler. A Phaedra release. Comedy/drama. Unrated. Running time: 91 min.
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