More Than Me
by M. Faust
Best known as a cast member of Saturday Night Live from 1995 through 1998, Jim Breuer has been a standup comic since the 1980s, In 2008, he was preparing to hit the road for his first tour of the decade. But he was worried about his father, who at the age of 84 seemed to be sinking into a dark place. So Breuer decided to take his dad with him, knowing that he was going to have to be his caretaker as well.
More Than Me is a video journal of that trip, an affectionate portrait that takes a hard look at the difficulties as well as the rewards of caring for an aging parent. Breuer was what we used to call an “accident” baby, coming along when his parents were in their 40s. Friends often mistook his dad for his grandfather, and though he knew that his father had fought in World War II, he didn’t get to know much about him until he became an adult himself.
As filmed by Buffalo native William Philbin, Breuer is open about the uncomfortable details of eldercare, especially on a tour bus with limited sanitation facilities. His father grew up in Kentucky in poverty and is not given to emotional displays, so his son puts his skills as a comedian to use trying to draw his father out (though the funniest parts of the movie are his profane refusals to cooperate—he looks and sounds like a compact version of Reservoir Dogs’ Joe Cabot). The film was shown last November on Current TV (no longer available in Buffalo thanks to the chickenshits at Time Warner), and has just been released for viewing and download on iTunes.
Watch the trailer for More Than Me
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