Amy Schumer talks comedy.

The concept for this documentary couldn't be simpler. Though it seems to be de rigueur these days, actor-director Kevin Pollak (Kevin Pollak's Chat Show) eschews film clips, pop songs, and animated sequences in favor of talking heads. Instead, he asks more than 60 subjects about comedy and organizes their comments by theme, like "Hey, Look at Me" and "Bombs Away" (Pollak never appears on screen, though a few of his questions made the cut).

That description suggests a clown car full of stand-ups, except he also incorporates directors (James L. Brooks, Jason Reitman), dramatic actors (Tom Hanks, William H. Macy), and even the children of comedians, like Freddie Prinze Jr. and Kelly Carlin-McCall, the daughter of George Carlin. Further, he doesn't limit himself to America, but folds in folks from Britain (Steve Coogan), Australia (Jim Jefferies), and New Zealand (Jemaine Clement).

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The array of speakers leads to a range of responses, and he doesn't avoid the darker stuff, like depression, drug addiction, and suicide. Because he packs the film as tightly as the star-studded The Aristocrats, none of these issues receive in-depth exploration, but it's more of a survey than a psychoanalytic exercise.

As for the title, it's a question rather than a conclusion. Not all comedy springs from misery, but all comedians share a desire for affirmation. Though it makes for a less-catchy title, nothing loves comedy quite like insecurity. recommended

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