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Laughology (DVD Review)

2 Sep, 2010 By: John Latchem

Street 9/7/10
$19.98 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Albert Nerenberg.

Who knew a film about laughter could be so depressing?

This simple documentary chronicles filmmaker/journalist Albert Nerenberg’s quest to rediscover his ability to laugh after a death in the family. To him, life doesn’t seem so amusing anymore, yet his infant child seems to have been born with the ability to laugh. So he sets off on an adventure around the globe to study why humans laugh.

He concludes it’s an instinctive gesture meant to bring people together through enjoyment of shared experiences, and the film is about the interesting and sometimes bizarre people he meets along the way. Viewers learn of a variety of subcultures that have evolved around the concept of laughing, including “Holy Laughter,” in which extreme laughter is believed to be key to generating religious consciousness, as well as something called “Laughter Yoga.”

It’s probably safe to say there really hasn’t been a film quite like this before.

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