Some really good laughter medicine

Movie Review by Andre Viljoen

ANITA RENFROE: Purse-onality
Genre: Stand-up Comedy

I kinda feel that I shouldn’t be writing this review. But I watched the DVD with my wife, Val, and we chatted about it afterwards and she says its okay for me to do the review. So, why all the preamble? Well it’s definitely a ladies-night-out stand-up comedy experience. In fact, at the live event where the show was filmed, the comedienne Anita Renfroe spotted a few guys among the multitude of ladies of all ages, and remarked: “Brave men!” Then she asked them if they were not perhaps very in touch with their feminine side. “You will be by the end of the show,” she assured them.

It took both of us a couple of minutes to culturally acclimatise to the show. At first the opening song “Girls Get Together” seemed very American and rather silly. The comedy item that followed, reminiscing about childhood toys was also a bit difficult to get into, because the toys were not familiar. Hmm, the 40-something American girls sound like they had some odd toys: including some gadget with a light bulb that could be used to bake cakes. But then she got onto bling and botox, and a really funny story about fake tans and sea cruises. And it just got better and better, in fact I must have really got in touch with my feminine side, coz I was tapping my feet quite happily to “Girls Get Together” at the end of the 97 minutes show.

Seriously ladies, and perhaps a few guys that may be reading this review, Renfroe is really funny. She looks like the average lady next door and she just keeps going with a deadpan delivery, never missing a beat. It was interesting to note that her audience was very cross-cultural and crossed a fairly wide age span, and all the ladies were enjoying a really good night out. Her mammograms tale was rather graphic, and very funny, and also included a responsible lifestyle message on breast cancer prevention. Every now and then she mixes in a song: her “Tribute to Underwire” based on Josh Groban’s hit “You Raise Me Up” nearly brought the house down.

At one point she said that people often ask her if she writes her own stuff. She said her answer is: “No, it just happens and I talk about it.” That I think is why she connects so well with her audience — her anecdotes are relatable.

Renfroe is a Christian but most of her material is just good humour. But as we read in Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine,   but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Renfroe encourages her audience through life’s challenges with the idea that you can survive anything that you can laugh at. At the conclusion she provides some further godly counsel, setting women free from the need to be perfect. In fact it’s okay to be messed up in some ways. We all are and God loves us and is busy with us. I can recommend this DVD and can only imagine, ladies, that for maximum enjoyment you should listen to it with a bunch of your girlfriends.

The DVD is available online.

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