Top positive review
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The story of an amazing and beautiful human being who made a difference in the world
on November 3, 2016
I saw this movie when it first came out and was really surprised by how NOT funny it was. But it was not funny in a really good way. It featured the real Joan and who she was as a person. She's often just seen as a funny and brash comedienne, but she was 1,000 times bigger and better as a human being.
This documentary brings up a lot of interesting things. For one, she says that no man had ever told her she was beautiful, not even her husband. She had a good marriage but he never said she was beautiful.
She says that she was never anyone's first pick for anything in her life – always seconds. I find this inspirational because, despite never being "chosen" first, she accepted the offers and showed the world who she was. She didn't feel pretty, she didn't feel first, but she used what she had (a lot of smarts) and made lemonade out of the lemons. Big time. I always thought she was very attractive and had a lot of style.
There are parts of this film that made me want to cry. She says at one point in the film that any time a car showed up for her to take her somewhere, she always said thank you and felt gratitude for what she was given in life. That is a poignant moment in the film. Joan was an extremely generous person and cared for everyone who came into her life. She paid her staff excellent salaries, put all of their children through school (including college) and covered all of their healthcare. Even after her death, Melissa is still taking care of these people, per Joan's wishes. She was a great lady.
Melissa appears in the documentary but more briefly than expected. It is important to note that Joan raised a daughter who also embraces the same values and continues her mother's legacy. Between this documentary and the series, Joan and Melissa, I think you get a good picture of the kind of person Joan was, behind all of the jokes and gags.
Joan was a rare celebrity who actually remembered from whence she came. She didn't have to die when she did. What a travesty.