Still waiting for a great stand up film
Whilst Crying with Laughter definitely has good points (a good performance from Stephen McCole, some well-directed scenes, nice shots, overall good pace) it goes to prove how difficult comedy is to film.
Perhaps it's because it's so hard to capture the interaction between stand up and audience. Perhaps it's just difficult to make scripted comedy on film seem convincing. Either way, this film fails both in the subtleties and in bigger details.
It may seem pedantic, but it felt lazy (and inaccurate) to refer to the 'biggest manager in the country' (a cliche we've heard in a doezen cheap music industry films) or to a big time commissioner coming from the US. All the comedians (including Joey) seemed to rely on sex or swearing; plenty of real comics do, but they’re not very good and very rarely successful. There’s certainly no way a comedian with the sort of material Joey has would ever provoke the interest of anyone important in the comedy industry. Nor would he get a crowd chanting his name in a small comedy club.
Some details were convincing (the backstage area, his put-upon manager) but overall it felt fake and personally I ended up asking whether it mattered if he was a comedian at all. Couldn't he have had the same experience as an actor or a businessman or an artist?
There is defintely a film to be made about comedians and the comedy world (not a biopic), bizarre and unique as they both are, but it isn't this and indeed, it doesn't yet exist.