When restless New Jersey housewife Lilah decides to pursue a career in stand-up comedy, abrasive comic Steven Gold agrees to mentor her and show her the ropes. But in the dog-eat-dog world of comedy, the need to succeed could doom their friendship.
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This was a transitional film for Tom Hanks as he began to move away from the purely comedic roles that defined his early career to pursue more challenging dramatic parts. There are some laughs in this look at the stand-up's life and career struggles, but we are also shown the significant pain that a performer's "act" often comes from. Field does her usual solid work, but it is Hanks who is this film's damaged heart.
Kind of underrated. The standup in it isn't very funny. Actually, it's not funny at all. But Hanks' performance is great. And he's very funny in parts. Sally Field and John Goodman are great too. If you watch the movie as a humorous drama rather than a straight comedy you're more likely to enjoy it for what it is and not what it was advertised as.