Elise Czajkowski of SplitSider.com reviews The Unbookables…
There are two things to know when watching the The Unbookables: this is a look at a side of the comedy world that’s not often shown, and it’s not going to be particularly pleasant.
The Unbookables Tour is the punk rock version of a comedy tour, founded by Doug Stanhope (an executive producer on the film). The documentary follows the current lineup of James Inman, Andy Andrist, Sean Rouse, Brendon Walsh, Norm Wilkerson, Travis Lipski, Brett Erickson and Kristine Levine on a van tour of Texas, Kansas, and Illinois.
The shows are bad, the lifestyle is crazy, and the comics aren’t particularly sympathetic. Watching the film the first time, my notes include the phrase “unequivocally terrible human beings.”
If there’s a somewhat accidental protagonist of the story, it’s Inman. At the beginning of the film, he’s stealing hydrocodone from a gout-ridden one-night stand. Half an hour later, he’s the grown-up of the group, as they get in trouble with a club owner for their material and their behavior.
The movie has a gritty, fly-on-the-wall-style, but the film has a subtle narrative. The beginning seems like over-stressed people yelling at each other for no reason, but a genuine and compelling drama builds between the comics as the tour continues.