Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This filmed version of Lily Tomlin's successful one-woman performance piece is sometimes classified as a "documentary." However, it is one hundred percent from the show and contains nothing but that show, so it could also be classified simply as a comedy/satire. In any case, it features classic characters limned by this versatile performer, whose uncanny sketches predated those by Whoopi Goldberg, Tracy Ullman or Sandra Bernhard -- all of whom walk in her footsteps. One of the repeating themes of the show is the avuncular advice of a delightfully addled bag lady who offers her services to help non-Earth aliens understand what they are seeing on this planet. All the skits tie together under the general theme of making fun of high-toned New Age rhetoric, which is a system of beliefs that proves inadequate to address the fundamental woes of everyday life.
comedian, concert, craziness, feminism, friendship, humanity, ideals, lady, lesbianism, life, parent, performer, rape, sensitivity, sexism, show, suicide, survivor, sympathy, talk-show, teenagers, victim, wit, woman