THE LAST LAUGH (Ferne Pearlstein, U.S.). 85 minutes. Rating: NNN
Does a joke about the Holocaust go too far? Ferne Pearlstein talks to Jewish comedians, including Mel Brooks and Sarah Silverman, both of whom have gone into that territory, and Holocaust survivors to see where they draw the line.
This is a movie guaranteed to generate conversation. Survivor Renee Firestone, who has a lust for life but has never heard a funny gag about a concentration camp, is a great character.
But there are too many platitudes about free speech and too much glib talk about “surviving through humour” in this not exactly balanced pic. I mean, pitting the likes of Brooks, Carl Reiner, Gilbert Gottfried and Harry Shearer against one schlub from the Anti-Defamation League isn’t exactly fair.
Stay for the credits. Silverman tells a joke about Auschwitz that’s pretty funny.