Love, Gilda captures the spirit and energy of comedienne Gilda Radner. That achievement alone makes Lisa Dapolito’s documentary a success. What makes the film particularly exceptional though is how it duals as a recap of Radner’s life, and as a master class in comedy.
This quick yet thorough doc tracks Radner’s career from her start in Toronto performing sketch comedy to her star-making turns on Saturday Night Live. Radner herself leads us via narration provided by audio excerpts from her autobiography, which gives movie goers an intimate experience. When these audio clips are paired with video footage featuring Gilda hard at work on SNL or just generally clowning around, it really does feel like the comedienne is in our presence and thrilled to tell us about how grateful she is of her career. This also gives audiences a perspective of how emotionally invested Radner was with each project, and how she always found it difficult to persevere through negative feedback.
But, the edge Love, Gilda has on other biographical documentaries is that it offers viewers rare and cohesive insight on Radner’s artistic process – how she developed characters and how she established her brand of outrageous, endearing comedy. For anyone with aspirations to entertain or to make people laugh for a living, this perk will not only have those dreamers wanting to see the movie, they’ll be camping outside the theatre until the next showtime.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie