FUNNY PAINS

Funny Pains (2020) Documentary REVIEW | crpWrites


Funny Pains is a 90 minute documentary that focuses on the real life issues that many comedians go through and slowly recover from through their acts. The film covers comedian Wendy Starling's bipolar disorder through a day to day blog as she prepares, vents, and performs. 


Funny Pains is only half of the documentary we really needed as comedy fans; the problem is that while enjoyable, the conversations between her fellow comics just come off as disconnected filler. It's easy to become distracted by the stories they tell or the jokes between them, but the story of Wendi is so much stronger than this and it seems as though they chose to focus more on the testimonials with her fellow comics than the experience of seeing what she's going through on a daily basis. 


The film (according to the opening title card) was primarily shot in 2015, leading me to wonder why the director and documentary itself didn't cover her experiences over those five years from then to now. There's a great story to be told about the struggles Wendi went through in her personal life along with her medical diagnosis, but Funny Pains sadly isn't it. 


What makes matters worse is the inadequate sound quality, and the choices that are dropped so suddenly don't help the film tell its full story. For example, at the beginning we are given reenactments of some of her struggles growing up, yet that aspect completely disappears from the production after a few shots. That's the major problem the film suffers from: a complete lack of direction. 


Hopefully from this film more awareness will be brought to the behind the scenes trauma of several comedians out there and draw more attention to the comedy of Wendi Starling.