The Last Laugh is a Netflix original movie directed and written by Greg Pritikin. While it is billed and advertised as a comedy, it seems to be more about the entertainment industry than an exercise as a comedy film.
Al Hart (Chevy Chase) is a retiring celebrity agent looking who feels he still has some drive left. However, under the guidance of his granddaughter Jeannie (Kate Micucci), he visits a retirement community where he reunites with a former client and stand-up comedian Buddy Green (Richard Dreyfuss). Green was scheduled to go on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ before giving it up for seemingly no reason. Al encourages him to get back in the game as he moves into the community.
At first resistant, Green has a personal tragedy that encourages to him to hit the road. Along the way, they visit some shady and often odd places. Along the way, the duo pick up hippie Doris Lovejoy (Andie MacDowell) as they journey to Nevada, to Mexico, to Texas, to Chicago for Green’s return to a career in stand-up.
Chevy Chase and Richard Dreyfuss are excellent together. They have hilarious symmetry as they travel the road from one scene to the next. I applaud their return to form in this comedy film. MacDowell is charming as ever. While she does nothing for the comedy of the film, she brings a free spirit to the movie.
The film does have some filler scenes that make the plot a little clunky at times. They have no purpose in the movie and serve to seemingly only to elongate the running time. However, one did have an interesting arc. The duo stop in Texas where Dreyfuss’ character tries out some politically correct material only to get booed off-stage and have beer bottles thrown at him. In an age where PC Culture is seeping into everything, it was nice to have at least a single scene that makes fun of this.
When I watched the movie, I was expecting a straight comedy full of slapstick, zingers, and/or situational humor. While each of these things are present, it was not a beginning-to-end romp. In fact, it is a movie about stand-up. In that, the film had some serious commentary on celebrity, riches, the comedy industry, all mixed in. While I was slightly disappointed it did not have a laugh train all throughout, I did appreciate a reverent and honest look at what the entertainment industry is and how the audience sees the performers. While it has not received accolades currently, I have a feeling in the future, this Pritikin picture will be remembered as a cult classic.
FAVORITE QUOTE: I’m sorry I’m late. I’ll see you soon.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong foul language, Drug Use, Sexual Content
You can watch the trailer here:
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