An un­ex­pected side to co­me­dian

Los Angeles Times - - AT THE MOVIES - — Michael Recht­shaf­fen

There are those who rec­og­nize Gil­bert Got­tfried as the squawky voice be­hind the par­rot Iago in Dis­ney’s “Aladdin” and, for­merly, the Aflac duck, and those who know him as a fear­lessly filthy-mouthed co­me­dian’s co­me­dian.

Both camps are in for a sweet sur­prise with “Gil­bert,” Neil Berke­ley’s al­ter­nately hi­lar­i­ous and heart­felt doc­u­men­tary por­trait of the diminu­tive 62year-old ec­cen­tric as we’ve never seen him be­fore — an at­ten­tive brother and ador­ing hus­band and fa­ther.

No one could be more shocked by the de­vel­op­ment than Got­tfried, an in­tro­vert who would ap­pear more in his com­fort zone on the road to gigs at places with names like Za­nies and Side Split­ters rather than in a taste­fully dec­o­rated Man­hat­tan apart­ment with his wife, Dara, and two young kids.

Berke­ley doesn’t skimp on footage of the in­spired per­for­mances that earned Got­tfried an early and im­pres­sive fan base, or on know­ing com­men­tary by Jay Leno, Penn Jil­lette, Whoopi Gold­berg, Howie Man­dell and Arse­nio Hall, but it’s the do­mes­tic se­quences that prove most revealing.

Whether it’s watch­ing Got­tfried ac­com­pany his pho­tog­ra­pher sis­ter, Ar­lene, to the hos­pi­tal for can­cer treat­ments (she suc­cumbed in Au­gust) or see­ing Dara vac­uum-pack­ing her hoarder hubby’s col­lec­tion of ho­tel room toi­letries, “Gil­bert” emerges as a re­mark­ably in­sight­ful keeper. No joke.

“Gil­bert.” Not rated. Run­ning time: 1 hour, 38 min­utes. Play­ing: Laemmle Mon­ica Film Cen­ter, Santa Mon­ica; Ahrya Fine Arts, Bev­erly Hills.

Niel Berke­ley Grav­i­tas Ven­tures

GIL­BERT GOT­TFRIED and his wife, Dara, in an al­ter­nately hi­lar­i­ous and heart­felt doc­u­men­tary.

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