3 STILL STANDING
(Robert Campos, Donna LoCicero, U. S.). 90 minutes. Rating: NNN Comedians Will Durst, Johnny Steele and Larry “Bubbles” Brown seemed poised for stardom during the stand- up boom of the 80s, but it never quite happened. Instead, all three remained just the wrong side of famous, never breaking through the way comrades like Robin Williams or Dana Carvey managed to do.
The doc catches up with them now, as they continue to make a living performing in clubs (and occasionally on TV), and it’s a pretty depressing sight. Talented as they may be, there’s no getting around the fact that these guys are fully aware that they missed their window – with the possible exception of Brown, who seems convinced that he’s on the verge of discovery despite being almost pathologically incompatible with mainstream audiences.
The cheerful score and bouncy editorial structure work against the melancholy and frustration, which is unfortunately amplified even further by the filmmakers’ reliance on their interview with the late Williams, who’s subdued and wistful in a way that now plays like a missed signal. NW Apr 29, 7 pm, TIFF 3; Apr 30, 9 pm, TIFF 1; May 2, 1 pm, Hart House