I’ve always said that, when it comes to comedy, I’m probably not the best critic on the web. That’s because what most folks find ‘funny’ I generally find ‘meh.’ I just don’t ‘get’ what makes a comedian all that grand an entertainer, especially when it does seem to me that most of them don’t really offer up any singular vision and/or reflection on our greater society-at-large. Those who do tend to excel with audiences, but, to be honest, I see a lot of it as just one version’s shtick versus another’s, and that ain’t all that exciting to me.
Still, I can appreciate a fresh voice as much as the next bloke, and there are four voices on display in WOMEN WHO KILL. While not all of them are all that fresh, there are two of them I’d handily watch again; one that I’d probably tune in for; and one I just didn’t care for, nor find all that funny (though she was talented).
Does that make sense? If so, read on. If not, well, you know the drill.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
Clearly, the centerpiece of WOMEN WHO KILL is the name commodity of Amy Schumer, who I hate to admit I’ve never found all that funny. However, her dim-bulb shtick works here, and it works very well. If you don’t know who she is, then you’ll probably be pleased to make her acquaintance. Her act – or her ‘approach’ – reminds me greatly of Goldie Hawn: she mixes some clever wordplay with a feigned (or is it?) airheadedness that pushes the boundaries of good taste just far enough to be funny but not quite offensive.
Second out of the gate is Rachel Feinstein who isn’t so much a comedienne here as she is a voice-actor offering up bit performances that she no doubt finds funny but perhaps isn’t quite as winning with the audience. Her reflections are honestly too mainstream, too everyday to be those belonging to any break-out voice, and, as such, I just didn’t find her funny. Talented? By all means. I’ve no doubt she could be a terrific comedy actress; she didn’t seem all that enamored with traditional stand-up.
Nikki Glaser went third, and her style is much closer to Amy Schumer’s – good-looking blonde trying to make her way through the highs and lows mostly of her own making – but she isn’t as biting as Amy (which might make her more popular with some). Her dress was an awful choice (in case she’s reading), and, for some reason, it made her look like her hips had wings. (???) Still, I enjoyed her flair enough to give her a modest ‘thumbs up.’
Marina Franklin was in batting clean-up. I’d never seen or heard of her before, but she was a delight. She was my favorite of the four, and that’s probably because she seemed the most authentic voice there: the situations that spark her reactions were very relatable, and it’s her repertoire of expressions that make her a delight to watch. She’s African-American, and some of her humor even poked fun at race issues (but nothing hard core) as they change from country to country.
WOMEN WHO KILL (2012) is produced by Levity Productions, Inc. DVD distribution is being handled through Entertainment One. As for the technical specifications, this is a ‘concert film’ (four comediennes appearing before a live audience), and the audio and video is pretty superb. For those interested (I wasn’t), there are a few special features: four shorts entitled “The Slumber Party,” Photo Shoot,” Gossip in the Make-Up Room,” and “The Jist of Rachel.”
RECOMMENDED. While I wasn’t quite won over by the skills of every comedienne here, WOMEN WHO KILL’s greatest saving grace is that it’s only a harmless 72 minutes of time invested. I probably enjoyed half of it, and that’s really not all that bad.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Entertainment One provided me with a DVD copy of WOMEN WHO KILL by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.