August 20, 2010

Fame is something that has always sort of fascinated me. We look at celebrities as people that aren't really real, that's why we get so starstruck when we meet them. It's a shock to the system when you see someone in the flesh that you've only seen in a printed magazine or television screen before. It is experiencing the unreal becoming real and even with that, the experience of meeting them often doesn't even seem real either. Celebrity is often thought of as something unattainable, we think of successful artists, musicians, actors and athletes as something that doesn't happen to everyone, and that is a big part of why it doesn't.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is obviously about Joan Rivers but I would argue that isn't really what the main focus of the film is at all. The film is about fame, its about the hard work it takes to get there, the hard work to stay there and what it feels like to be there. I literally knew nothing about Joan Rivers other than the old lady who interviews celebs on the red carpet, asking what/who they are wearing and then making fun of half of them for what/who they were wearing. I never knew how she got to that point, and I never really cared either. I'm not a fan of Joan Rivers, but I don't dislike her either. I'm indifferent. I was interested in this film on her life because it provides a view into fame and show business.

From day one, Joan Rivers worked hard, like a filthy street crack whore looking for her next fix...except replace the crack addiction with stand up comedy and her next fix being her next gig. To this day, this lady has a work ethic that puts both you and me to shame. She does stand up here, jumps on a plane talks about some shitty celebrity outfits there, does an appearance here, jumps on a plane and does a few book signings in this city, jumps on a plane does another stand up gig in that city, gets on the next plane does a home shopping network gig for her jewelry line, jumps on a plane and gets roasted by other celebrities about how her vagina is a mess and so is her face...this is all in a days work for Joan Rivers.

The film sheds light on a world that most of us don't know anything about. I'm not saying celebrities have such a horrible life, but it definitely isn't easy. Life in the limelight is bitter-sweet. Its a cruel life and Joan Rivers is a product of that lifestyle. She has to put up a wall to defend herself against the rejection and ridicule. Show business has no place for the elderly, more-so it is a place of perfect beauty and you have to do everything in your power to preserve any physical beauty you have. I don't think Joan Rivers is an obsessed plastic surgery addict but her career forces her to do whatever she can to preserve "beauty".

I couldn't help but feel a bit of sadness while watching the movie. Joan Rivers seems a bit lonely and loneliness isn't the first thing most think of when it comes to a celebrity. Celebrities can't leave the house without being stopped by people but they can still feel lonely? I think some people work so hard to become famous just so they can finally be loved. The sad thing about fame is that they love you when you're up but when your down there is nobody around.

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