WHITNEY CUMMINGS: MONEY SHOT
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Comedienne Whitney Cummings takes the stage in her television special, giving her take on dating, masturbation, pornography, childbirth, why she thinks she’d look like a European boy on a stripper pole and other key issues that make the great void between men and women.
WHAT I LIKED
Comedy Central television specials are like certain genre flicks, like romantic comedies and Madea movies. They are not made to bring in a new audience, but rather to rally the support of existing fans. Unlike a dangerously divisive comedy club audience or late-night talk show spot, the people whose butts are in the seats are fans. In this sense, the deck is stacked towards the comedian, not like a local comedy theater troupe who has more shills in the audience than paying customers, but rather in the sense that they already like the star.
This is both the best way to see a comedian and the worst way. On the good side, you get to see them when they are most comfortable. On the other hand, they don’t have anything to prove because the audience paid through the nose to see the show. The jokes tend to play better as the audience is most accepting. It’s so much easier to watching something like this than an extended piece in which they struggle for every laugh. We all remember what happened to Kirk Fox when he opened for Charlie Sheen in Detroit.
Whitney Cummings definitely has a captive audience in this Comedy Central special, and she milks it for all its worth. She delivers her best material and gets a laugh for every joke. I felt good for the girl, even when the jokes weren’t the best. Though I’m not sure that’s the point of a stand-up comedy special.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There were several places where I laughed in this special. Cummings does have a few good jokes. Unfortunately, they’re lumped in with a bunch of retread jokes from the 80s and 90s stand-up comedy cable explosion.
Do we need to go down the road about men having erections every morning and women being able to make babies? Do we really need to tell the same jokes about how the fashion industry makes fashion so women are uncomfortable? Do we really need to be reminded that men can be emotionally detached during sex while women are emotionally clingy? There is some fresh material within all these rehashed subjects, but not nearly enough.
Finally, Cummings faces a great challenge as a comedienne in the fact that she is, indeed, a good looking lady. Hot men and women usually don’t make it in comedy, mainly because it’s hard to make fun of themselves when they are physically attractive. Cummings does her best to combat this by using alarmingly harsh lighting, pulling her hair back tighter than a virgin on prom night and claiming her breasts aren’t big enough. But in the end, her bellyaching about relationships is cobbled by the fact that she’s better looking than much of her audience.
Sadly, nothing beyond the 48-minute TV special.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of Whitney Cummings’ stand-up.