This Is My Life

This Is My Life ★★★½

I watched this movie cradling my dog with my broken ankle elevated in a cast on a punch of chintz pillows and it was the coziest, most tender-hearted polka-dotted confection of a movie I could watch high on pain medication. I think it is so cool that Nora Epron gave the wonderful Julie Kavner a starring vehicle and she chomps into Dottie, a struggling single mother who has an unexpected climb to standup celebrity, with all her might. While I feel the film does a lot of telling not showing, relying on voice over narration and scenes of phone calls with her daughters, to explain her rise to fame (this is basically a superhero story, as Dottie never encounters sexism or degredation or any rejection in her career), "This Is My Life" is a sweet, slightly acrid about the costs and pains of having it all, a painful meditation about whether women really can be artists and mothers. It's a shame that this topic isn't better explored in cinema - I'm grateful that this flawed, beautiful, and very funny film exists.

It gets bonus points for:

*Dan Ackroyd playing a Hollywood agent who at one point, consumes an entire paper napkin

*One of the funniest and most painfully realistic "loss of virginity" scenes ever committed to celluloid (the female gaze is REAL here)

*The city of Toronto standing in for several places, including Simpson's department store and Union Station

This is my life! This is not my life!

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