LOVE, GILDA Review – The Gilda Radner Doc is Nice, But Don’t Expect Sax and Violins

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Love Gilda Review — Saying you don’t like a movie about the glorious Gilda Radner is like saying you hate puppies, so I won’t say it… 

Love Gilda reviewLove Gilda opens a window into the sometimes worrisome and sometimes whimsical world of beloved comedy icon Gilda Radner, whose greatest role was sharing her stories on as one of the very first “Not Ready for Primetime Players” on Saturday Night Live.

Her characters Lisa Loopner, Roseanne Roseannadanna and Emily Litella were all based on herself or people she knew, which is why those LOL ladies still resonate to this day. Radner was completely honest and transparent, both in her professional and personal life.

Even though she was famous before the days of baring it all in confessional interviews with the likes of Oprah Winfrey or Phil Donahue, Radner was candid about her struggles with anorexia, and she made her cervical cancer diagnosis into a punchline on the Garry Shandling Show.

Working with the Radner estate, Love, Gilda director Lisa D’Apolito unearthed a collection of diaries and personal audio and videotapes documenting the superstar’s childhood, her comedy career, her relationships (she dated nearly every guy on SNL—who knew she was such a vixen?) and ultimately, her finding true love with comedic actor Gene Wilder only to have happiness ripped away by The Big C.

There’s never-before-seen-or-heard footage and journal entries form the backbone of the documentary, which allow Gilda to tell her own story. And there are also newly-shot interviews with Chevy Chase, Bill Hader, Melissa McCarthy, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Paul Shaffer, and Martin Short to name a few.

Saying you don’t like a movie about the glorious Gilda Radner is like saying you hate puppies. So, I won’t say it… but Love, Gilda isn’t really a film in its own right—it’s more of a fawning tribute with rounded corners and soft edges. There’s a lot to enjoy here, particularly in the clips of her famous bits, but if you already know a lot about this funny lady who hid tears behind her smile, you won’t learn much. If that’s the case, then in the words of Emily Litella: never mind!

Not Rated
86 Minutes

Want to see Love Gilda? Check out showtimes at



Love Gilda Review — Saying you don’t like a movie about the glorious Gilda Radner is like saying you hate puppies, so I won’t say it…

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Colleen on September 16, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    I was under the impression that her marriage to Wilder was not all lovey dovey. That he was not that in love with her.

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