Film Review: ALL ABOUT NINA (USA 2018) **

All About Nina Poster

Nina Geld (Winstead) is a bracingly funny and blisteringly provocative stand-up comedian whose career is taking off, but whose personal life is a near-complete disaster. To escape a …See full summary »


Eva Vives


Eva Vives

The film is as its title implies ALL ABOUT NINA.  The film follows Nina from the first frame even providing a voiceover by Nina throughout the movie.  The film follows the journey of the strong independent woman Nina finally being torn the fuck down.

Nina Gold (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is an up-and-coming comedian in New York City. According to the press notes, she is supposed to be funny, smart and has worked hard to build a career for herself in the male-dominated world of stand-up.   But when it comes to romantic relationships, Nina’s life is a mess.  Random guys in bars, abusive married men (Chace Crawford), and an inability to stand up for herself finally convince Nina it’s time for a change.  The trouble is that what is written in the press notes do not come out as written on the screen.

Her routine at the start of the about how females get fucked and how men always want to fuck women might be right on today’s topical headlines, but Nina is downright annoying.  Her 5-minute or s routine is also unfunny, crude and dirty.  This results in the male standup comic that comes after her hitting on her after.  Her character is not that smart either.  One thing the director Vives does, while making Nina annoying, is to create an even more obnoxious male so that one cannot hep but take Nina’s side.  But one again, there is a turn.  Nina accepts the abuse, She accepts being hit and from a real dick lover (who happens to be a cop; an easy target) and has sex with him after, which basically make all the characters in the film detestable.  It would take a lot of effort to create a likeable film or story out of all detestable characters  This fact makes the film intriguing to see whether the director Vives, who also wrote the script is up to this dauntless task.

In the film, there is a segment in which Nina attends a new age group meeting.  When asked to share with the group, an incident one should not have seen like “I saw my father hit my mother”, Nina ditches the group.  When confronted by her new Mexican roommate, she says she wants her privacy and does not want to have others share her personal affairs, though she shares her stuff onstage as a standup comic.  It is the same way for the audience in this movie.  Director Eva similarly puts the audience in a female oriented scenario with certain do’s and don’t’s but the audience has no choice but sit through the entire movie.

Director Vives offers a way out for the self-destructive Nina.  She packs up and moves to Los Angeles, for a once in a lifetime opportunity to audition for Comedy Prime — the end all, be all of late night comedy.  After killing it in Los Angeles, she meets chill contractor  Rafe Hines (Common), who tempts the brash New Yorker into considering commitment.  Sublimating her own desire to self-destruct, Nina has to answer the question, once and for all, of whether women can indeed have it all.  Of course, the answer comes from a female so one can predict whee the film is leading.

30 minutes into the movie, Vives includes a second standup comic deliverance by Nina.  The routine is still mildly funny at best and still crude and rude and serves no purpose after the audience has seen the first routine.  This is the point at the film where one can tell there is no redemption in this unlikeable comedy – more unlikeable for males than for females.  Males – this is one movie to avoid and as for females – take your chances if you dare.

The be fair, the film contains a few brilliant moments like the segment where a gay couple argue about the sponge put at the bottom of the sink.  On the negative side, the film’s climax involving Nina’s truth sexual abuse routine is almost unwatchable.


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