Julia Scotti: Funny That Way
Released on Transgender Day of Visibility, transgender comedian Julia Scotti speaks openly and honestly about her experiences in Susan Sandler’s documentary Julia Scotti: Funny That Way after transitioning later in life. Told with a good sense of humour and even more heart, Scotti doesn’t shy away from difficult topics as she lays her life bare in her own words.
Told predominately through scenes of the stand-up talking directly to the camera, Sandler’s stripped-back approach to filmmaking puts the focus squarely on the subject. There are no flashy visuals (save for some charming animated sequences that give the presentation an extra layer of personality) to distract from what Scotti has to say. One of the most resonating scenes comes early on when she and her adult son have a heart-to-heart at a panel event. It’s this kind of authentic humanity that viewers can expect to see throughout the rest of the runtime.
Whether the comedian is talking about how she eventually discovered that she was trans, her relationship with her adult children or how she crafts her stand-up routines, everything she has to say is worth listening to. Not only is her story one that’s inherently fascinating but Scotti’s wit and honesty (she’s just as willing to point out her own flaws here, too) make her instantly likeable from the moment she introduces herself onscreen in a self-deprecating fashion that highlights how the trans community are viewed by some.
This tongue-in-cheek opening, alongside a small handful of other moments, however, is as close as this documentary gets to touching upon broader trans issues. But this isn’t a bad thing. By framing these wider talking points within the scope of Scotti’s life story, this documentary succeeds in illustrating how they can affect trans people and their families, and more importantly, how they’ve been able to work through them over the decades.
Funny, honest and thoroughly endearing, Funny That Way is a deeply personal and reflective story of a fascinating individual’s trans experience.
Julia Scotti: Funny That Way is released digitally on demand on 31st March 2023.
Watch the trailer for Julia Scotti: Funny That Way here: