The first ever stand-up comedy documentary accepted into Sundance, Louis CK: Hilarious is the film that launches CK into the company of the greats. It deserves comparison with the recent classics of the genre such as Rock's Bring the Pain and Izzard's Dressed to Kill. You wouldn't think it to look at CK who seems an average meat and potatoes comic compared with, say, the live wire personality of Richard Pryor or the outsized absurdity of Steve Martin, but what Louis lacks in flash he makes up for in insight.
Just as one can't think of dirty words the same after hearing George Carlin tackle them, so too does CK absolutely decimate a number of topics. From the way we thoughtlessly go to the extremes of language for the most mundane events, to the instantly classic routine where Louis takes society to task for the whiny petulance with which we greet the wonders of modern technology. Over and over he skips the easy gag to find the big thing we've been missing right in front of our face.
Of course, none of that brilliant perspective would matter if he wasn't so explosively funny. Hilarious had the crowd I saw it with roaring. Sure, this self-directed effort doesn't reinvent the form, but it's not on my list for stylistic brilliance. It's here because I know there is no 2010 title this comedy nerd is more likely to view and view until it's committed to memory.
Previously on the Countdown
09 - Somewhere
09 - Somewhere
10 - Blue Valentine