Directed by Paul Provenza, starring Bob Saget, Paul Reiser, George Carlin, Drew Carey, Billy Connolly, Andy Dick, Gilbert Gottfried, Richard Jeni, Joe Franklin, Sarah Silverman and over 100 other comedians.
'The Aristocrats' is stand-up comedy brought to the big screen, only the comedians aren't standing up. But that's not the joke, it gets better. Rakes of comedians tell their version of one joke, 'The Aristocrats'. Their aim is to push the boundaries of taste into oblivion and out do each other. And 'The Aristocrats' happens to be the crudest joke ever.
The plot is driven by improvisation, as comedians tell their favourite stories, analyse and deliver a joke that has apparently been around the comic world since Adam and Eve, but rarely told on stage. And the reason why this joke has been kept behind closed doors becomes apparent when the comedians get into the spirit of the show.
The set-up and punchline are always the same. Taboos are obligatory, but levels of obscenity a personal choice. The crux is vulgarity and inappropriateness. The name of the film, just like the content, is completely inappropriate, hence the humour. You'll laugh at how twisted it becomes (if at all), not because it's funny.
Among the highlights of the film are Gilbert Gottfried's performance of the joke in front of a live audience a few weeks after 9/11, the randomness of Sarah Silverman and the specially created 'South Park' scene.
This is the work of comedians Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette who filmed with hand held digital cameras, working on the project for three years and editing on a Mac at home. Over 100 hours of footage were edited to get the finished film.
But all the hard work went into the gathering of the content it appears, after that scenes were just slapped together to get 90 minutes of documentary. The film needs more structure, more editing, and more creativity in its making, not just the focus on the telling. The monotony of close-ups of comedians in various hotel rooms, homes, coffee shops and hallways detract from the humour.
Using shock-ability as the redeeming force in comedy, this is not for the prudish and will either be loved or hated. It's taste gone awol and that's not necessarily a good thing if it's the future of comedy.
For the amount of world famous comedians involved, this documentary-style film won't catapult itself into the number one funniest film ever made slot, but is definitely memorable for its obscenity. The comedians have left the stage and the result is crude, disgusting, offensive and funny.