A woman who has a funny bone for a backbone, Funny Cow charts the rise of a female stand-up comic who delivers tragedy and comedy in equal measure in the sometimes violent and always macho clubs of Northern England in the ’70s.
There’s more drama than comedy in FUNNY COW. It’s a hard-hitting, sad/humorous tale of a woman who, from childhood, uses humour to survive the oppressive, abusive life she is raised in. Maxine Peake is very good as Funny Cow and adeptly handles the humour wrapped in sadness. Alun Armstrong, who seems to appear everywhere, is excellent in his role. The comedy is very dark and moving. Overall, the movie doesn’t quite reach the heights it should but it is an interesting meditation on the way laughter can transform pain into something bearable.