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No Fluff, Just Laughs

Anthony Nunez/Open Road Films

The Fluffy Movie (2014)

A concert film documenting comedian Gabriel Iglesias’s two-night stand in San Jose, Calif., last year, “The Fluffy Movie” demonstrates just why the oversize top banana has cultivated quite the sizable following worldwide.

He made a strong impression in “A Haunted House 2” earlier this year, showcasing an aptitude for walking the thin line between preachy and offensive when conjuring cultural stereotypes. His gifts are on full display here, as he muses on the similarities between Mexicans and East Indians and compares the pick-up prowess of gay and straight men. There are so few comedians who can do this as deftly as he does — recognizably spot-on, never disparaging and instead barrier-breaking.

Judging from the film, though, his huge popularity seems to stem from his candid descant on a host of personal struggles: battling obesity, parenting a spoiled brat and reconciling with an estranged father. It’s very humane, relatable, moving — and sidesplitting all the same.

The film opens with a prologue reenacting scenes from Mr. Iglesias’s childhood and explicating the influence of “Eddie Murphy Raw” at a tender age. While hilarious indeed, this segment unfortunately adds an air of artificiality when coupled with the slick direction and editing of the concert portion. The whole film would have seemed staged if Mr. Iglesias hadn’t proven he’s got the goods by delivering comedic gold.


Opens on July 25

Directed by Manny Rodriguez; director of photography, Larry Blanford; edited by Dave Harrison and Tom Costain; production design by Bruce Ryan; produced by Mike Karz, William Bindley, Gabriel Iglesias, Joe Meloche and Ron De Blasio; released by Open Road. Running time: 1 hour 32 minutes. The film is rated PG-13 by M.P.A.A.


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