Many people like to think of their favorite comedians as always being funny. At any given moment, a comedian should be able to say or do something funny, because they are a comedian. Right?
Wrong. A comedian’s best asset is the willingness to do the work and try to stay fresh with their comedic content. One of the best parts of Kevin Hart’s Laugh at My Pain film is the beginning, when Kevin and his entourage chant a phrase that could be taken lightly, but
shouldn’t. The gist: Everyone wants to be famous, but no one is willing to do the work or go through some pain.
My mother is always telling me that in order to go anywhere in life and make something of yourself, you have to work hard for it. You also have to be willing to suffer. It is true that to achieve any level of success, you have to pay your dues. Dues can be paid before, during, or after success has been achieved, and there is no way to get around it.
In Hart’s case, his dues-paying came before his success — in the form of pain. He had a father who was addicted to cocaine. His mother kicked his father out of the house; Kevin’s father was not allowed past the second step of their stoop.
Kevin has also had to work his way up the ranks of the world of comedy to become a respected comedian. He’s still climbing.
In Laugh at My Pain, Hart engages in a real-life mocu-mentary with three acts. In the first act, Hart visits his old neighborhood in Philadelphia. He greets the locals and spends quality time with his family. In act two, the audience can view Hart’s popular comedy tour, Laugh at My Pain. In the final act, Hart and his band of merry men attempt to rob a bank. This short film, called The Plastic Cup Boyz, shows the pitfalls of trying to rob a bank when you don’t know what you’re doing.
I call this film a real-life mocumentary because Hart appears to poke fun at the way people go back to their old neighborhoods after they have become famous and pretend to still be down to earth. But, the audience knows that as soon as the cameras stop rolling, these big name talents are hurrying back to their expensive cars and speeding back to their even more expensive, gated-community homes.
Hart also has a good sense of humor about his life. In fact his sense of humor is a little too good. Kevin makes it easy to laugh at his misfortune. So much so, that it feels like his life wasn’t all that bad. I know that’s a harsh thing to write, because Hart has surely had a hard life. But, he may have gone too far in poking fun at the hard childhood he has had to endure.
Like a lot of dramatic things in anyone’s life, time does heal all wounds. I know the film is called Laugh at My Pain, but poking too much fun at that wound will make it fester. While Hart can make a crack addict funny, I would have liked to see more of a serious look at what it means to grow up with a father addicted to crack. This is a documentary after all.
Also, the Plastic Cup Boyz short film isn’t all that funny. It encourages light laughs, but it doesn’t really do much for the genre. Bank-heist films are a dime a dozen. There was nothing special about these Plastic Cup Boyz; just another mocumentary of the classic bank heist films that have gone before it.
As a whole, Laugh at My Pain is quite hilarious, especially Hart’s comedy show. Even though his father almost drowned him and embarrassed him endlessly at his school, Kevin still shows genuine love for his father. So even though Hart doesn’t explore the emotional effects of having a father addicted to crack, he does show that some good can come of it.
After all, the best messages that Laugh at My Pain can give are that laughing helps to keep one from crying, and forgiveness is more important than wallowing in the past.
KAliciaG@aol.com or www.facebook.com/fashgirl83
Photo: by kevinhartlaughatmypain.com