Get Bruce! | Chicago Reader

Get Bruce!

At first this profile of comedy writer Bruce Vilanch appears to be an exercise in insider back patting. But as his career is detailed in interviews with clients—Whoopi Goldberg, Bette Midler, Billy Crystal—and clips of them “performing” his material, the documentary begins to demystify Hollywood. One fascinating sequence shows Vilanch developing some shtick with Robin Williams, whose manic extemporizing is developed through a process no less astonishing than the finished product. This and other scenes showing Vilanch's one-on-one interactions are created through clunky match cutting, but the behind-the-scenes revelations are thoroughly convincing, in part because the filmmakers don't conceal their technique very well. Vilanch is just as candid about his craft and his image, lending a paradoxical sincerity to the creation of celebrity personas. Directed by Andrew Kuehn.

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