At a very young age, Gilda Radner learned how to ward off playground jerks looking to turn her weight into a subject of ridicule. “Comedy is hitting on the truth before the other guy thinks of it,” were words she lived by, and a reliance on self-deprecating humor became a key to her survival. Soon after the opening credits — but not before the audience is given a chance to re-familiarize itself with the subject — a quartet of more contemporary SNL alumnists (Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and Melissa McCarthy) are called upon to to read select passages from Gilda’s diaries. Fortunately, their participation is kept to a minimum. Most celebrities don’t leave behind a stockpile of research material such as this, and director Lisa D’Apolito puts it to good use. The photographs alone would fill several storage lockers. Add to this an autobiographical audiobook narrated by the author, performance videos, and recently discovered audio tapes, and you’d swear Gilda was an active participant in the project.
Length: 1 hour, 26 minutes