Tig full movie review - Slight in style but heavy in content.
I regret admitting that I didn't know more about Tig Notaro before this documentary. She was a familiar face for the past handful of years, most notably in the film In A World, but not a familiar name, bopping just below my radar.
Louis C.K. was her biggest advocate so I really should've recognized her, plus she makes a couple of memorable appearances on Inside Amy Schumer which I watched recently. Netflix's documentary Tig is good catchup for anyone with a passing interest, and a brisk way to get the full story. Whereas usually documentaries about comedians don't warrant bigger screen treatment as their stories can seem trivial if they don't involve social action, Tig may be a documentary that feels slight on the surface but it's able to get very heavy in the extremely personal side. While it's primarily a survival story, there's also a sweet love story here to enjoy with her financee Stephanie Allynne that breaks the boundaries of sexuality as she never considered herself homosexual until Tig. It's just the love for another person, which is wonderful to see in any context.
The film starts out very strong - funny, tragic, and gripping. Her legendary but heard-and- not-seen performance where Tig beared her soul to the audience, beginning the show with 'I have cancer, how are you?' is a great introduction to her sense of humour and expert delivery. It may repeat its best moments later, but they still get laughs. However, as it bursts from the major struggles and focuses on the 'what now' stage of her career, the film does lose momentum, critically by the third act. Perhaps it could have embellished earlier engaging segments just a little longer to develop it a bit more. It's very easy to sympathize with her plight, including her desire to have a baby, but while we can't speak for what was going on in Tig's head at the time, the film does ignore other options to have children until near the end. It's difficult to really feel the high stakes when it comes to the second half. The doc is typically held back by its short ambitions, besides attractively composed interviews, you wish they had better footage in the verite scenes. Nevertheless, Tig is still a very funny and poignant portrait of a great modern comedienne. You come away just wishing Notaro all the best.