‘The Last Laugh’: A story of comedy and pain (Review)


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“The Last Laugh” follows a retired comedian who refuses to truly retire from comedy. The movie is a Netflix original movie that began streaming on January 11.

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead

A mix of older generational humor and exciting new beginnings, the film The Last Laugh is a comedy that premiered on Netflix on Jan 11, 2019. Centered around a retired comedian and his former talent manager, it shows the unhappiness about getting older, yet brings laughter and jokes.

For a comedy, the movie starts off on a sadder note: as an older grandpa, Al Hart is a retired talent manager but refuses to accept his age. Within the first few minutes, the movie picks up as Hart reunites with his longtime friend and past client Buddy Green.  The pair is average at first glance, but prove to be a force to be reckoned with as the film progresses.

Once cemented as a pair, Hart insists on convincing his former partner to get back into comedy, urging him on in multiple scenes. Finally, after an unfortunate event, the pair is on the road, and the movie truly begins.

A brief period of stale comedy ensues, followed by a successful gig by Green and then a music-filled interim of driving and eating.  The next pit stop the pair makes is in Mexico, where they end up getting arrested after a show in Tijuana, and then they go on to Los Angeles. One show after another, with interludes in between, the movie makes its point – Buddy Green is a great comedian.

Once that point is made, the movie starts once again to focus more on Hart, particularly on his private life. The movie takes a charming turn, with Hart’s friend joining him and Green on their trip. Together they become a trio, and for a while, lightheartedness seems to fill the air. So far, the comedy of the movie doesn’t disappoint, although it can be classified as cliche at times.

However, things change once again when it’s revealed that Green has pancreatic cancer. The revelation is a big shock to Hart, who was previously unaware. As the movie quickly jumps from sadness to a musical number, to dancing, and back to music, it can be a bit of a shock to the audience too. The constant jumps became more prevalent making it hard to stay invested in the movie.

Finally, after a climactic and heartwarming scene of Green doing a gig on The Colbert Show, the movie wraps up on a good note, playing the credits alongside yet another jazz instrumental. The ending of the movie ties up the loose ends nicely, and I’d say I was left satisfied with the resolution of the story.  

The Last Laugh is good for what it is, which is a comedic film that relies heavily on the theme of an older generation coming to terms with their age, making jokes about it all the way. If you enjoy comedy and an underlying theme of just as much sadness as laughter, this is a movie you’re going to want to watch.