Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling Reviews

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May 14, 2016
One of my favorite films that nobody saw.
September 5, 2015
Classic 1986 film! Richard Pryor did a great directing his life story in this movie.
April 26, 2015
though writer/producer/director/star Richard Pryor insisted this pic isn't autobiographical its a case of art imitating life if u know what I mean, I liked this one though not pryor's best.
February 15, 2014
I've seen this movie many, many times and it never fails to move me. The complex life of Richard Pryor is shown in all its glory. I know he insisted this movie isn't an autobiography. While dramatized and not completely accurate, the plot walked with a man who entertained so many while dealing with personal demons. This film explained where he got his street vernacular and swagger. Many critics pass over this film as painful to watch. I find that interesting because I love to watch it.

While not perfect, I think it makes important statements about pain, fame, and addiction. I miss Richard Pryor. His legacy is still felt in so much of our popular culture now.

I just bought this movie on Amazon and I can't wait to watch it another 10 times.
February 12, 2014
Its a little weird but a good story.
January 13, 2012
It isn't the best directed film, but the film excels most when Pryor is allowed to illustrate very painful, true elements from his life (he maintains this film isn't autobiographical, but since he's pretty much the only black comedian raised in a brothel with several wives, a drug issue, and an accident that set him on fire while freebasing, it is clear that is not entirely accurate). Whether it be the burning accident that almost took his life (which frames most of this story), his destructive behavior in each of his many marriages, his conversion from a Bill Cosby type act to a dark and profane but brilliant social commentator, the film touches on these elements in a way that brings them to life and Pryor's comedic virtuosity is constantly evident. The film falls flat when it is pulled away from Richard, especially during the nightclub scenes, and the severely 80's soundtrack from Herbie Hancock is pretty camp at this point. It is a very flawed film with some secondary performances that are wildly forgettable and an "Its a Wonderful Life" type theme that has mixed results (sometimes its hilarious, sometimes heavy handed), but it still is a treat and a real insight for fans of the comedian.
½ December 30, 2010
Terrific mix of comedy and drama.
November 8, 2010
this was one of my favorite movies ive ever seen richard pryor was a hero of mine so although it didnt get good reviews i loved it GOD BLESS YOU RICHARD YOUR THE GREATEST
January 19, 2010
tell professional FILM CRITICS they are total JIVE-TURKEYS.

JO JO DANCER is a 100% film; a true autobiographical film about Richard Pryor .

Professional Film Critics "suck" and they don't know anything about what makes a good film.

not every film has to be BEN HUR or CITIZEN KANE or THE GODFATHER or THE BICYCLE THIEF to be a good film.

screw those jive-turkey no good "so called" professional film critics.

any film can be a 100% without having to be NEW YORKER-friendly.

film critics ruin film-making totally
½ December 31, 2009
This is a little bit of an unfair review because I am comparing the film to Pryor's warts-and-all autobiography "Pryor Convictions"
This story is about Richard Pryor, who plays himself, as the character Jo Jo Dancer. It starts in Pryor's life where he infamously set himself on fire while free basing cocaine. He is rushed to the hospital and the whole movie is his life flashing before his eyes in "It's a Wonderful Life" fashion. The only wonderful thing about Pryors life was the fame, and money he made. He grew up in a brothel, had abusive relationships his whole life, and got deep into booze and drugs.
All of the debauchary of his life is only touched on in this film. Again, he gets much deeper into all of it in "Pryor Convictions". I am, and always have been, a huge fan of Pryor the performer. Pryor the man/husband/father was kind of a scumbag. He is the first to admit it, but that doesn't made it all okay.
November 3, 2009
Way better than expected. Sure it's totally self-indulgent (Pryor wrote, directed, and starred in what is essentially his own biopic), but it's also a great window into what Pryor thought about his life.
½ July 31, 2009
Richard Pryor was the greatest stand-up comedian of all time. No one will ever be so honest in a stand-up act and make himself the butt of the jokes. Pryor's life was full of sex and booze, drugs and money, pain and suffering, high strides and low points that he turned the worst moments of his life into a routine and told us it was okay to laugh at. Watch Live on Sunset Strip in which he talks about his drug addiction, his burning himself and recovery. There's a lot of pain in his eyes, but he laughs because it's better than crying. Jo Jo Dancer is a carbon copy of Pryor who follows the same path Pryor took, being raised in a brothel, more or less being raised by his grandmother, having a father who used violence and insults as parenting. Dancer starts out low, being screwed over by the Mafia, only to find his voice by doing what other comics wanted to do but was afraid to do. He rips on some hecklers with foul language and it's funny. Soon, his career rises and his life spirals downward as he drinks and does drugs and marries women for other reasons than love. I would rather have seen a movie about Pryor's life rather than Jo Jo Dancer, but any fans of Pryor know his life story and how bad it was. I guess this movie was an attempt by Pryor to focus on the drama of his life, and Lord knows there was a lot of it. Still, the movie feels to rushed and incomplete. But this movie, just like the underrated Blue Collar, shows that Pryor could act.
Super Reviewer
July 12, 2009
Hmmm I have heard of this film but never seen it at any video store I currently shop at. Will have to do some investigating sounds interesting.
½ June 23, 2009
Flinchingly wide open, Pryor held nothing back. Brilliant!
March 15, 2009
I was surprised Richard Pryor directed this one, it's decent, surely not great, it has its moments though. Makes me miss Richard Pryor and his work.
March 5, 2009
my daughter was named after this movie
January 18, 2009
Even though I loved Richard Pryor and his life story is a dramatic one that pretty much wrote itself, this semi-autobiographical movie isn't anything special. It was entertaining enough but it just seems like the story deserved better treatment.
½ December 26, 2008
Sad that a comedic genius had to experience some of the things he experienced: I wished he would have actually recovered from his traumatic experiences, but his behavior, and continued incidents proved that he hadn't.
Super Reviewer
December 22, 2008
No thankyou - Not interested.
November 22, 2008
At times, painful to watch but overall very well done
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