For Reel

The Bitter Buddha (2012)
July 18, 2012, 2:16 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Steven Feinartz

An unusual fixture on the contemporary alternative comedy scene, Eddie Pepitone is a veteran of thirty years who has only recently come to be recognized thanks to his advantageous embrace of digital media and social networking. The Bitter Buddha, a documentary that probes into his day-to-day life, is a sort of public service announcement that relentlessly expounds on his gifts – think of it as Katy Perry: Part of Me for irritable twenty-somethings. Fans of the comedy world will take great pleasure in seeing the recognizable faces chime in (including a heated confrontation between Pepitone and the reliably antagonistic Marc Maron), however they will likely be disappointed with the film’s disinterest in exploring the writing process or the evolution of stand-up comedy in the world of podcasting. The picture’s most revealing moment shows the frustration of trying to write the perfect tweet – a timely detail that resonates far beyond the isolated comedy scene. It is a disappointment, then, that director Steven Feinartz most often settles for the easy chuckle, most tellingly demonstrated by using some of Pepitone’s wittiest tweets as makeshift chapter titles. Slight as the film may be, however, Pepitone is a fascinating presence, and a late father-son interaction is sure to garner applause from even the most cynical of crowds.

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