Actors: Barry Crimmins
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Format: Multiple Formats, Widescreen, NTSC
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Run Time: 105 minutes
It is remarkable how many successful comedians come from tragic loss and a traumatic past, but not nearly as amazing as what comedian Barry Crimmins used this pain to accomplish, on and off stage. Call Me Lucky gently allows this narrative to unfold, never forcing or exploiting the material. Director Bobcat Goldthwait appears briefly among many other comedians to tell his own personal connection to Crimmins, but his handling of the subject is always distanced and respectful, never contrived or emotionally manipulative.
Although there are several famous comedians willing to offer up random stories about the subject, a large portion of the film simply contains Crimmins himself. Whether it is footage from his stand-up routines, footage of him today, or his talking-head storytelling for this film, Crimmins provides the narrative better than anyone else. This is especially true when it gets to the subject of his traumatic childhood, which he openly discussed onstage.
This childhood abuse is what also led Crimmins into a fight with AOL in the 1990s after discovering they were turning a blind eye to offenders sharing child pornography online. He turned his rage most notably seen in his standup routines into the political arena, proving himself an intelligent and articulate advocate for victims. These accomplishments are nearly overshadowed by the sight of Crimmins returning to the place of his childhood trauma for this film. This isn’t just a movie about pain, however. It is more a film about the ways that pain can shape us, and what it did in Crimmins life.
The Blu-ray release includes a commentary track with Goldthwait and Crimmins, as well as a trailer for the film. I can’t say that this is a film that needs to be seen in high definition, or that the Blu-ray offers anything exclusive. I would definitely recommend Call Me Lucky, but DVD will probably suffice.
Entertainment Value: 7/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 8.5/10
Historical Significance: 6/10