Stacey Stone, Diane Mellen
"Jack" an Entertaining, Insightful Doc Short
Los Angeles-based humor writer and performer Jack Sundmacher is the subject of the latest effort from the filmmaking team of Stacey Stone and Diane Mellen, Jack, a 15-minute doc portrait of a man struggling to become a comedian in Hollywood.
Sundmacher is at the stage in his life when he's pretty sure his chances of becoming a household name are slim to none, but Jack nicely captures his ongoing efforts to keep giving it everything he's got and why, in the end, there's really no other choice for him but to keep doing stand-up every chance he gets.
Jack is a funny yet transparent doc about a guy who lives for that golden second after a joke where he's made people laugh only to see himself plummet back into a cycle of depression and self-loathing only a few moments later.
If the joke bombs? You don't even want to ask.
Married with a daughter, Sundmacher is a working class comedian whose everyday job may surprise you yet it's a job he finds fulfilling and it's a job that gives him the freedom needed to keep hitting the stages and keep doing what he can for that ever elusive laugh.
While Sundmacher is far from a household name, he's experienced his share of success along the way including performed his own one-person show "Not to be Negative but..." at the United Solo festival and being a James Kirkwood Literary Award nominee.
If you've ever tried stand-up, and I have, you'll likely resonate deeply with Jack's Groundhog Day like cycle of laughing then loathing. While Jack moves quickly at a mere 15 minutes, it's a film that nicely captures the emotional spectrum for a guy who seemingly mines his inner turmoil into a likable yet somewhat sadsack stage presence.
Jack is the latest winning collaboration between Stacey Stone and Diane Mellen, whose work on such films as The Man Behind 55,000 Dresses has proven to be both entertaining and incredibly insightful about the human experience.
The recently completed Jack is likely headed for at least a brief fest run and it's definitely worth a view should it come to a festival near you. For more information on the film, be sure to visit its Facebook page linked to in the credits.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic