A love let­ter to comics: De Niro’s ‘The Co­me­dian’

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Contents - By Sandy Cohen AP En­ter­tain­ment Writer

WHILE there are a few good laughs to be had in “The Co­me­dian “— and great cameos by myr­iad comics — Tay­lor Hack­ford’s film isn’t ex­actly a com­edy.

It’s a por­trait of an ag­ing entertainer, un­for­tu­nately ham­pered by the tired trope of a May-De­cem­ber ro­mance and the im­pli­ca­tion that men find re­demp­tion in suc­cess while women find it in moth­er­hood. Such out­dated elements de­tract from an oth­er­wise in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter study and heart­felt love let­ter to New York City and the ca­ma­raderie among its co­me­di­ans.

Robert De Niro is Jackie Burke, a once-fa­mous sit­com star who yearns for re­spect as a standup comic. He re­sents his fans for as­so­ci­at­ing him with the char­ac­ter he used to play on the hit “Ed­die’s Home,” and he bris­tles when they call him Ed­die. Jackie isn’t al­ways kind to his long-suf­fer­ing man­ager (Edie Falco, dis­ap­point­ingly un­der­used) and in­sults the pa­trons at the small-town clubs where he per­forms.

Af­ter tus­sling with a heck­ler at one of his shows, Jackie is sen­tenced to jail and com­mu­nity ser­vice. He’s work­ing at a New York City soup kitchen when he meets Har­mony (Les­lie Mann), who’s


Harvey Kei­tel ( left) and Robert De Niro in a scene from, “The Co­me­dian.”

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