Biography Comedy

TJFF Review: ‘Standing Up’ Follows the Lives of Three Very Different New Yorkers on Their Quests to Become Stand-Up Comedians

May 9, 2018Britany Murphy

An Orthodox Jew, a personal injury attorney and a custodian walk into a bar... You'd think this would be the beginning of an actual joke, but in Standing Up, the only punchline is that the above words are very true.

Following the lives of three ordinary New Yorkers (David Finkelstein, Raafat Toss and Sara Parks), this documentary about living your dream shows the lengths that people will go to in order to find their happiness, which potentially includes quitting their jobs, losing their homes and even expulsion from their community.

Director Jonathan Miller perfectly depicts his subjects, along with all the ups, downs and curveballs life throws at them on their hopeful journeys to success. You cannot help but get emotional while watching the toll comedy takes on the lives of David, Raafat and Sara. Ultimately, Standing Up begs the question — Just how far are these three comedians willing to go for a laugh?

Standing Up screens Tuesday, May 8th and Sunday, May 13th at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 16 min.

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