More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “Dying to Do Letterman,” a documentary about a stand-up comic with cancer — not a tawdry horror film about a slasher stalking the members of a high school varsity football team.
Directors: Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina
Cast: Steve Mazan, Jim Gaffigan, Ray Romano
Official Synopsis: “‘Dying to do Letterman’ is a hilarious, heart-felt, award-winning feature-length documentary that proves one thing: dreams matter. When 35 year old stand-up comedian Steve Mazan learned he had cancer, and might only have five years to live, he dedicated his life living his dream: performing comedy on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman.’ This documentary chronicles his five-year journey, as he races his own ticking clock to achieve a nearly impossible goal. Hilarious, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspirational, Steve’s journey brings a brand-new perspective to living with cancer. This is a story that proves it’s not how much time you have, it’s what you do with it. As Steve says, ‘If you stop chasing your dreams, you’re already dead.'”
“Steve Mazan is actually pretty damn funny.”
“Mazan gradually evolves, before our eyes, from a self-pitying clown into a fully mature, three-dimensional individual.”
“Fascinating but upsetting.”
“Tonally upbeat, sometimes to a fault, ‘Dying’ will live, like Mazan, on the smallscreen.”
“The film has a lot of heart. Unfortunately the warmth filmmakers Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina have produced feels a bit manufactured.”
“Dying to Do Letterman” is now available on VOD.