This concert film becomes gripping, moving, and triumphantly funny when Margaret Cho stops with the "fag-hag" jokes and gets real in recounting her ill-fated sitcom and its devastating effects on her mental and physical well-being. In the spirit of Richard Pryor talking about his infamous freebasing accident in Live on the Sunset Strip and Julia Sweeney discussing caring for her cancer-stricken brother in God Said, "HA!", Cho's account of her ill-conceived 1994 ABC sitcom All American Girl is victorious, a "you go, girl" call to empowerment. Her happiness at finding mainstream acceptance was short-lived when the network expressed concerns about her weight. A desperately insecure Cho proceeded to lose 30 pounds in a month and wound up in the hospital with kidney failure. Even more humiliating was the special consultant hired to instruct her how to appear "more Asian." Cho recalls receiving a phone call after the show's premiere from an enraged Quentin Tarantino, her then-boyfriend, who screamed at her, "They took your voice!" The capper was when her show was cancelled to make room for The Drew Carey Show ("Because he's so thin," Cho asides). Drink, drugs, and promiscuous sex followed, until Cho gave herself a wake-up call. "I'm not going to die because I failed as someone else," she proclaims. "I'm going to succeed as myself." This is the one Cho's legion of devoted fans want. More sensitive viewers are advised to fast-forward through the raunchier bits. --Donald Liebenson
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