I Am Chris Farley (2015)
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Critic Reviews for I Am Chris Farley
A bittersweet salute, appraisal and explanation of the early-nineties Saturday Night Live troupe mainstay.
It serves merely to remind us of lightning that struck briefly and memorably in the comedy world, and then was gone.
Fans of Farley will appreciate the effort although more discriminating moviegoers might wish for a little less hagiography and a little more depth.
I kept thinking what Farley would have thought of it. He probably would have been embarrassed and a bit shy about the whole thing. But he would have loved the attention. He would have smiled and laughed. And that's all that really matters.
"I Am Chris Farley" sticks to slickly edited, bite-sized anecdotes about an attention-starved Midwestern goofball unprepared for stardom, accompanied by storybook music that accentuates Farley's childlike nature over his darker impulses.
Audience Reviews for I Am Chris Farley
Young people in the entertainment industry suffering from inner demons ultimately resulting in their untimely death is, unfortunately, nothing new. Chris Farley was one in a long line of funny people who have succumbed to the dark side of fame and the pressures of living up to the facade they create for the purposes of the public loving them. It is especially interesting in terms of comedians given they are the ones we expect to be of a certain, happy temperament in general, but obviously can't be funny all of the time. The most apt comparison is of course John Belushi who Farley naturally idolized, but also emulated in a way that Farley's need to find energy and inspiration in drugs so that he could deliver what was expected of him also served as his downfall. The new documentary, I Am Chris Farley, is not concentrated so much with the death of Farley though, but more on what life he was able to live prior to his death at the age of thirty-three. While there isn't anything necessarily unexpected about this trip down memory lane, it is certainly affecting and that is coming from a guy who didn't even grow up with the SNL cast that Farley was a part of. No, I was more of a second generation Farley fan, and this insightful look at what the late comedian needed in order to thrive is what makes this candid look at who the man really was really interesting. Beginning with interviews from his three brothers, the film builds a vivid portrait of Farley's pleasant childhood and encouraging upbringing. The film harps a lot on the influence of Farley's father, Thomas, but never touches on what came of that relationship once Chris became famous. As we build towards the years in which Farley became a huge star, the most riveting aspect is simply how self-loathing the man seemed to be and how this low self-esteem heavily influenced who he was on stage. While the interviews with the famous people can sometimes come off a little guarded and rightfully so, I Am Chris Farley never comes off as a fluff piece, but a fair portrait of who this man was while displaying he was to others what he always wanted to be to himself.
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