‘Laugh at My Pain’ hurts so good

By Blair Stalder

February 14, 2012

One stool, one mic, one red cup and tons interesting life stories: that's all Kevin Hart needed for his third standup DVD that hit only 86 AMC Theatres when it debuted last September. Hart is only one of a tiny few of comedians to have his standup shown in theaters. "Laugh at My Pain" sold over $1.5 million in ticket sales, beating Eddie Murphy's record of the first African-American comedian's two-day live comedy show at $1.1 million, according to International Movie Database. While Hart starred in movies like "Death at a Funeral," "Scary Movie 3" and "The 40 Year-Old Virgin," the 5'2" comedian is back on the big screen again. Only this time, he relives hard times of his past by joking about it on stage. His adversity includes growing up with a coke head of a dad who Hart admits almost drowned him, who bust into his spelling bee and who, overall, embarrassed him throughout the years. Hart's portrayal of his father on crack is ridiculously funny in a way that it is truly unbelievable; for instance, Hart's dad going to his school in sweatpants minus underwear: not pretty, but unfortunately for Hart, it happened. Hart also cleverly works in phrases his dad would say ("Alright, alright, alriiiiiight!"), always keeping that hilarious vision of Hart's dad fresh in the mind. Sex, his divorce and his relationships are also mentioned in his standup, and it can all relate to one thing: his safe word, pineapple. Hart is not afraid to talk about his sex life, which allows viewers to really get a feel for what he's going through, i.e. his divorce. It's not just a movie where Hart runs out on stage, says his jokes, and runs off. A different side of Hart is revealed when he is shown roaming the streets of his old neighborhood in Philadelphia, revisiting the high school he went to and the first comedy club he ever performed at and when he breaks down in front of his immediate family. The ability to see Hart off stage is real, and it's nice to actually get to see someone's true side. It is important introduction to the movie because it gives a visual of where he grew up, people he looked up to and a chance to really see how goofy he is in public. Some celebrities hide from the public; Hart embraces it. Another great element to the movie is his short film in the end. It pays an homage to "Reservoir Dogs" as he assigns his fellow comedian friends "color" names for his plan to rob a bank. The added short film is unpredictable, but funny nonetheless. While the title proves his material is about his hardships, the only flaw would have to be his lack of references to his kids. In his previous standups ("I'm a Grown Little Man," "Seriously Funny"), he has several cute stories regarding his son and daughter. In "Laugh at My Pain," he really only talked about his son for a brief moment. Overall, however, two thumbs up.