The comedy and satire of Our Lady of the Fifth Dimension is always timely and sardonic. But as performance art, it has all the showmanship of a schizophrenic. Some of the routines are overtly jovial, others full of uncomfortable (and strangely trivial) pathos.
In between, it’s a cacophony of manic energy, relentless cartoon banter and the knowing irony of stand-up comedy. And despite all the buzz, some performances are by turns surprisingly good and painfully obvious.
If Don’t Look Up was intended as the first of two “funny films”, it at times feels like it never finds its footing.
The most palatable routines begin with the ostensible premise – a comically gifted old English musician named Aylesbury enters a dementia unit. She sings a medley of Lord Tennyson’s Riddle Of Solomon (a composition about the battle of Jericho) with new-found dementia patients in matching white overalls. The scenes of the psychos being shocked and bothered by a woman who genuinely is “painfully smart” are funny, but are often best when staged with the music cranked up loud.
What follows, on the other hand, are some of the film’s most excruciating efforts. Much of what follows is ear-splitting comedy about the tittering, eating-egg-shells-in-your-mouth foolishness of dementia patients. It’s enough to make the punters leave in droves, as there isn’t much to hang on to in the first place.
Nevertheless, a few stand-out moments should make each of us stop and ask: “Where has this been all my life?”
The best parts of Don’t Look Up