After a long stint of interviews, I finally decided to get back into reviews. Nothing started off the latest review stint much like a movie about stand-up comedy. I sometimes do it myself. I don’t know how much I can get away with though depending on if certain toxic individuals start monitoring me again. All of that aside, the movie is All Joking Aside and it opens up with a comedian named Charlene (Raylene Harewood) trying for the first time only to be heckled by an old guy. But Charlene discovers it’s not just any old guy, but someone much more. A man named Bob Carpenter (Brian Markinson) who he was once a comedian himself until one night when he went ballistic on someone in the crowd. So Charlene decides to meet up with Bob and ask him for help on making a set. Bob decides all he can do now is make amends with everyone around him but even that is proven to be difficult. It turns out he’s not the only one struggling as Charlene is required to have some surgery and she deals with family matters at the same time. Still, she takes up some lessons from Bob and he recommends she enter a contest after witnessing her. With Bob’s help, she manages to make quality jokes. From her personal issues with being a volunteer at a school full of kids who only care about dinosaurs to her day job at a grocery store where she has to smile like a Barbie doll (I should get back into stand-up with that one). Soon, Bob encourages Charlene to enter a contest to see how well that training paid off.
The thing about this story is there’s a lot of plot elements. It’s crazy just how many bits of different happenings are happening in Charlene’s life, as well as Bob’s. Still they keep everything woven together. Characters are quite a mix of different people but they all make the story go very smoothly. From Richard Lett as the owner of the local comedy joint to Tanya Jade playing Charlene’s best friend and so many more talented actors involved. It’s hard to believe the movie takes place in New York when you recognize so many Vancouver landmarks, but it still works. A lot of the film’s dialogue sounds a bit disturbing and unfunny and then it turns to extremely humorous in just a few moments. A great movie that one can relate to, and one where things are a little bit different. The ending may have been a bit rushed with one particular problem, but the film is still impressive anyway. A lot of laughs in both the standup routines and off the stage.