4 Star Review for Dying to do Letterman from Steve Rhodes
Filmmakers dream about it…the day when you make a film that earns a four star review.
This past Sunday, Steve Rhodes of InternetReviews.com, who’s written hundreds (thousands?) of reviews over the years, which have appeared everywhere, attended one of our Cinequest screenings of Dying to do Letterman.
He’s given his permission to repost his review here:
Dying to do Letterman
A film review by Steve Rhodes
Copyright 2011 Steve Rhodes
RATING (0 TO ****): ****
DYING TO DO LETTERMAN, a very moving documentary about achieving the American dream, isn’t quite the most poignant film I’ve ever seen on the subject, but it is certainly the most hilarious.
Although it is indeed sidesplittingly funny, what you’ll remember most about the film aren’t the jokes but the man himself, Steve Mazan, and his tireless quest to accomplish the dream he had had since he was a kid. He always wanted to do a standup comedy routine on David Letterman’s television show. Given the thousands of comics with the same dream, Steve knew his odds were terrible, but he still hoped and planned to make it “someday.”
The schedule for his potentially distant “someday” had to be dramatically accelerated when, in 2005, it was determined that he had a form of terminal and incurable cancer. If he was lucky, he’d have five years left.
Talented filmmakers Biagio Messina and Joke Fincioen followed him everywhere from the comedy clubs Steve played in to the many comedians he went to for advice. Typical of these is Ray Romano (“Men of a Certain Age”) who said he shared Steve’s goal but that it took him eleven years to land a gig on Letterman, and, even then, he was bumped at the last minute several times over several months until he was finally given his big moment.
Steve is not only funny, he is a really likable guy, which comes through in spades in the very insightful narration he does for his life story. He tells us that he always wanted to do comedy even when he was kid. As he explains, every class has a class clown, and he was “that kid” — the kid that the class clown made fun of.
Jokes are only as good as the comedian telling them, but, to give you a flavor of Steve’s brand of humor, I’ll give you a hint of one of his bits. He complained to the comedy club he was working that night that his insurance had been going through the roof lately, so he was quite excited when he read an ad that guaranteed it could insure him for a fraction of his current cost. He was excited, that is, until they explained to him that the fraction was five thirds.
The movie has shades of ROCKY, as it had our audience rooting for Steve to live long enough and to be determined to be good enough to finally pull off his lifelong ambition. After the ending credits — which have by far film’s funniest bits of all — had finished rolling, our audience, to a person, was standing up, cheering and applauding loudly.
DYING TO DO LETTERMAN runs 1:15, and you’ll treasure every moment of it.
The film is being shown as part of San Jose’s Cinequest Film Festival (www.Cinequest.org), which runs March 1-13, 2011.