Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

Watch Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

  • R
  • 2010
  • 1 hr 25 min
  • 7.3  (3,802)
  • 79

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is an engaging and honest documentary that delves into the life and career of legendary comedian Joan Rivers. Directed by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg, the film offers an intimate look at the ups and downs of Rivers' life as she approaches her 76th year. The documentary was released in 2010, and features candid interviews from the star, as well as members of her family and fellow comedians, including Kathy Griffin.

The film follows Joan Rivers in the year leading up to her 75th birthday, as she navigates the realities of getting older, staying relevant in show business, and the ongoing pursuit of fame. Joan's personality is larger than life, and the documentary captures her unrelenting drive, her unapologetic humor, and her tireless work ethic. Joan is a woman who, despite all her success, is never quite satisfied, and this film offers a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the sacrifices and hard work it took to get there.

The film is refreshingly honest about the pitfalls of fame and the harsh realities of the entertainment industry. Joan Rivers shares candid and raw moments, including her insecurities surrounding her age and physical appearance. She reflects on past mistakes, such as her ill-fated decision to host NBC's The Tonight Show in 1986, which ultimately led to her firing and estrangement from the network. The documentary also shows the chaos and unpredictability of the comedy industry, as Joan and her team schedule appearances, negotiate contracts, and prepare new material.

The film benefits from its use of archival footage of Joan's performances, including her early stand-up routines and her iconic appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The footage shows how groundbreaking her comedy was in its time, touching on topics such as feminism, sex, politics, and celebrity culture. Combined with new interviews and intimate behind-the-scenes moments, the film paints a complete picture of Joan's illustrious career.

While much of the focus of the film is on Joan, the documentary also includes interviews with her daughter, Melissa Rivers, who acts as Joan's manager and confidante. Melissa is a fascinating and complex figure in her own right and is shown to be just as hardworking and determined as her mother. The relationship between the two is explored in depth, with the film showing the stresses of a mother-daughter dynamic that is also a business partnership. Their partnership is both loving and competitive, and the film touches on Melissa's desire to follow in her mother's footsteps.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is an excellent tribute to an iconic figure in comedy. The film's candid portrayal of Joan Rivers and her life is both entertaining and informative, and does an excellent job of showcasing her talent, humor, and drive. The documentary is filled with memorable moments, including Joan's touching reunion with Johnny Carson's former producer, and the bittersweet finale that showcases her final live performance.

In conclusion, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is a compelling documentary that provides a revealing look at the life and career of one of the most influential comedians of our time. The film is both funny and poignant, showcasing how Joan Rivers became an icon in show business, in spite of the challenges she faced along the way. The documentary is a must-see for anyone who loves comedy or is interested in the behind-the-scenes world of the entertainment industry.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is a 2010 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 79.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Where to Watch Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 25 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (3,802)
  • Metascore