It seems that the film missed something about Spalding Gray. It was too broken into mini pieces of Spaldings life when I wanted the whole of his life. He was the greatest one man show and all he did was talk about himself.
Spalding Gray is not for everyone. I was lucky to see him perform his monologues several times in the early 1980s in San Francisco. He was a low-key kind of guy, and with a sometimes acerbic commentary on life. After fame and fortune, things changed, and the pressures of having to perform seem to have weighed heavily on him. When your method of making your living is personal, reflective story-telling, it can't be easy being yourself or knowing what that means.
The added feature of the first monologue which jump-started his career (Death and Sex Till Age 14), is better than the main feature, which is an odd mix of other monologues and interviews all smushed together. All things considered, its somewhat banal, but still interesting, like an extended segment on the 'This American Life' radio program (NPR).
Spaulding Gray was much loved by some friends, colleagues and family; they created this piece to honor him after his suicide. In several interviews, he says that he doesn't want to be remembered as a "navel gazer" or some such, but as a man who poetically reported on the world around him. They tried to give him what he wished. Someone who is more a fan of the monologues would be in a better position to say whether they succeeded.
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