New Doc Questions the Cost of Second Chances

Read Time:4 Minute, 15 Second

MOVIE REVIEW
Sorry/Not Sorry

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Genre: Documentary
Year Released: 2024
Runtime: 1h 30m
Director(s): Caroline Suh, Cara Mones
Where To Watch: in select theaters and everywhere you rent movies July 12, 2024


RAVING REVIEW: SORRY/NOT SORRY, crafted by Caroline Suh and Cara Mones, navigates the turbulent seas of comedy and controversy surrounding Louis C.K. Once at the pinnacle with his daring Netflix specials and popular FX show, the comic's career veered off course due to allegations and proof of sexual misconduct. This documentary pivots around the potent stories of women like Jen Kirkman and Abby Schachner, whose brave testimonies spotlighted the darker aspects of his behavior. However, Louis C.K. chose not to add his voice to the film.


The film blends candid interviews with unexpected discoveries, dissecting the struggles of three women who dared to confront the comedian’s inappropriate behavior. It prompts viewers to scrutinize how certain narratives are elevated in our cultural discourse. Far from avoiding the uncomfortable truths, SORRY/NOT SORRY tackles how Louis C.K. managed to dodge the most severe repercussions by producing material and infusing his routines with allusions to his past deeds, thereby normalizing his contentious history. Unlike so many horror stories from the #MeToo era, his seems to be the one that gets excused because “it's not as bad as others,” thus ultimately showing how many people missed the point of what this movement meant.

It also scrutinizes the broader comedy landscape, marked by unchecked male toxicity. The film tracks the escalation of rumors to headline-making news, depicting Louis C.K.'s public admission of the claims and his subsequent, contentious return to the spotlight. It gives a voice to the women involved, delving into the profound personal and professional tolls they faced. These women were taken advantage of because of their perceived position compared to Louis C.K.’s. A snippet of Roseanne Barr's victim blaming puts the entire film into perspective; you know you’re on the wrong side of history if you agree with her.

Directed with kindness and a focused vision, the documentary probes the power dynamics within the entertainment industry, raising pivotal questions about who gets to redeem themselves and who is sidelined. With insights from prominent journalists and industry figures, it encourages a broader reflection on societal expectations and the underlying issues that fuel such scandals.

The New York Times' involvement in the documentary ensures a thorough portrayal of the strange realities surrounding the comedian's actions. While some may contest the principles of "cancel culture," the documentary argues that Louis C.K.'s actions have permanently (and rightfully) marred his career. His excuses for his actions don’t make them okay.

In interviews, Suh and Mones discuss their journey in creating the documentary, from their initial reactions to a deeper understanding of the complexities of sexual harassment. They explore the challenges of tackling a topic often shunned by the industry and how their work seeks to foster discussions on the repercussions of ignoring inappropriate behavior.

Shifting the focus from Louis C.K. to the broader consequences of his actions, the documentary reframes the narrative to spotlight those affected and the broader implications of their experiences. Contributions from various comedians and insiders, who provide honest insights despite potential risks to their careers, enhance the film's authenticity.

Suh and Mones hope that SORRY/NOT SORRY will spark essential discussions about respect and the importance of addressing misconduct. They advocate for a reflective approach to the media we consume and the stories we endorse, prompting viewers to contemplate what redemption should look like in the public sphere.

This documentary emerges as a powerful, thought-provoking piece that challenges its audience to reconsider the stories we value and the implications of our collective choices. It is a critical addition to the discourse on power, fame, and the bravery required to address hard truths in modern media.

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[photo courtesy of GREENWICH ENTERTAINMENT]

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