I’ve never had much interest in Joan Rivers, which is why — on two occasions — I’ve passed up the chance to see the documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work at two film festivals. The trailer, however, looks somewhat compelling, in that it puts Joan Rivers in a historical perspective (in the space between Phyllis Diller and Kathy Griffin) and it looks as though it might even try to humanize her, though it’s hard to imagine there’s still a human beneath all that plastic.
But that seems to be the point of the documentary: To explore Rivers’ place in the comedic world, her insecurities, and her relationship with age, plastic surgery, and the people who do like her. Joan Rivers has made a joke of her life, but it’s a joke that works for her, and that she’ll proudly keep telling. And there might just be something to respect about that.