Follows Will Chu whose true life passion is to become a stand-up comedian.
Hoping to achieve success as a stand-up comic, Will Chu (Jimmy Yang) appears at open mic nights at local clubs, honing his craft whenever he can manage to capture a few minutes on stage. Unfortunately, he’s getting nowhere fast and is about ready to throw in the towel when a golden opportunity falls in his lap. A fellow comic (Ken Jeong) puts in a good word with a club manager who’s looking for a host for his club show, the headliner being comedy legend Billy G (Cedric the Entertainer). Realizing he could get his foot in the door via this gig, Chu jumps at the chance. Neither the laughs nor the sentiment comes cheap here as writer/director Steve Byrne and Yang earn the viewer’s poignant response as Chu’s path to salvation is not only hard-fought but sincerely earned. To be sure, Act does an admirable job showing us the ins-and-outs of the club scene and the hard work necessary to succeed in it. However, by concentrating on what motivates these performers to lay themselves bare as they do, the movie proves to be something more than just a one-note entertainment. 3 ½ Stars.
“The Opening Act” is delightfully awkward and authentic as Will (Jimmy O. Yang) attempts to pursue his childhood dream of being a stand up comic. You get every indication that many of the scenarios in the film are true to life as Will bombs on stage, but buoys himself occasionally with a good night here and there. Much like the game of golf, one good hit and it’s enough to keep you going. The well-known comedians like Ken Jeong, Bill Burr, Tom Segura and more, who play supporting roles, adds a level of credibility to the film and of course, they give us plenty to laugh about oftentimes at poor Will’s expense. Will’s flashbacks to childhood carry us along his journey to create himself as a stand up comic as it gently meanders the emotional roller coaster ride of life, love, and success. The film itself has a loose structure, but the storyline is tightly woven to give us an entertaining story with an edgy reality. This indie is a gem that shouldn’t go under the radar of viewers or critics.