‘Hysterical’ (2021) | SXSW ’21 | Movie Review

‘Hysterical’ is centered around the women of stand-up comedy, and how the glass ceiling of female comedy is being broken by visionary comedic talent. Showcasing interviews from some of todays best female comics as well as the ones who paved the way for them.

The film delves into the love of comedy first and foremost. The point of this interesting documentary is that the love and passion for the craft of comedy is no different if you have a penis or a vagina. It’s about the craft, honing your comedic skills, and being determined to be the best you can be. I love this message and loved the show leading with that. But they emphasize how unique, new feeling (though of course it isn’t new), and innovative comedy from the female perspective is for todays era of stand-up.

The interviews with the comedians are raw and true. They explain their starts and how challenging it is to not only follow the path of a stand-up comic, but to be feed really only the scraps of those opportunities because you’re a girl. Pointing out the infighting between female comics, the tightrope of being not too threatening while trying to just be themselves. The self-doubt of being in such a judgmental industry.

What is interesting to me in this film is what is left out but shown in pictures and a couple anecdotal stories, Amy Schumer. At one point Amy was one of the biggest comedians in the world, then it’s revealed a lot of her jokes may or may not have been stolen, and poof, vanishes. The amount of rage and insults thrown at her is disgusting and from unbearable people who only further the idea of ‘Women aren’t funny’, so to leave out this I feel is important to call attention to and I am interested to know what the directors and interviewees takes are on this.

Overall, ‘Hysterical’ is a look into the comedy realm that we’ve never seen before. The future of comedy is women, and this film does a great job of showing the past, present, and future.

Check out my full video review here!

Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of PatrickBeattyReviews.com and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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