Janeane Garofalo’s first solo appearance in more than a decade, If You Will – Live in Seattle documents a one-hour performance live in Seattle. In it, Garofalo (24, The Larry Sanders Show) is awkward and uses a healthy dose of big words to help tell her stories. That’s pretty much what we’ve come to expect from her over the years. The only problem is, she’s not that funny in this stand up.
As she recounts her problems with today’s twitter age, to the end of her sex life, to the Anatomy of Natalie Portman for the sold-out crowd at the Moore Theater, it’s hard to imagine she’s been doing comedy for as long as she has. She starts be placing a set of notes onto a music stand for her performance. Given, this is built into a joke as she opens, but it’s indicative of the overall performance.
It’s all slightly amusing, but doesn’t really bring many true laugh-out-loud moments, and after awhile starts to feel a lot more like the rambling of an insecure performer when she doesn’t seem to know where she’s going from one bit to the next. Some of the stories she is telling are fun anecdotes from her life, but whereas most stand-up performers spin those tales into comedic scenarios, Garofalo just seems to be recounting them, even admitting at a juncture or two that what she’s saying isn’t really a joke.
Those who have followed Garofalo as a personality over the years will likely enjoy giving this one viewing to see her on stage again, and it’s not terrible. But for those expecting comedy, Garofalo unfortunately just doesn’t bring it in large quantities. The two bonus shorts – Pets and Representative Richard Martin (R) – are equally amusing concepts, but again don’t carry the big moments.
The Blu-ray is presented in 1080i high-definition, and looks nice on the screen, but with a few simple angles and a needless surround sound track, most fans can get away with saving a few bucks and purchasing If You Will – Live in Seattle on DVD. Actually, most can get away with just renting it.
– The If You Will Blu-ray disc is presented in 1080i high-definition widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio video, with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound
– The special features are presented in 1080i high-definition widescreen 1.78:1 aspect ratio video, with Uncompressed PCM Stereo sound
– Bonus comedy videos: Pets and Representative Richard Martin (R)