Written by Tristan Olav Torgersen
Originally posted on IndieEntertainmentMagazine.com
October 12, 2017
Nip it. Tuck it. Pull it. Stretch it. Fill it. Cosmetic Surgery. Plastic Surgery. ‘A little work done.’ Call it what you will. Keep quiet if you do it. And most importantly, be able to laugh about it.
Take My Nose…Please! brings the reality of plastic surgery to light through the lens of female comedians. The result is something truly spectacular.
Director Joan Kron brings a lifetime of experience to the screen. Take My Nose…Please! is her first film. Yet, it feels nothing like a first entry. Her style and storytelling matured in her time at Allure magazine, and documentaries have become her next adventure at the age of 89!
Take My Nose…Please! takes audiences through the history of plastic surgery, the many perspectives on it from authors and professionals alike, and the interplay between plastic surgery and female comedians today.
I was hooked.
The entertainment industry has changed from the early days of Hollywood, yet not altogether. Female entertainers are still seen very much as objects.
The adage that ‘Sex Sells’ would have fallen out of favor if it weren’t true. Females cannot win roles in the film industry. They are passed over for television roles. They are no longer fit, trim, and beautiful in the extreme standards of the industry.
This is nothing new though, as the film points out. In the early 20th-century, Dr. Suzanne Noël pioneered early cosmetic surgery in France. She began in 1916 in her apartment. She published one of the first books on cosmetic surgery in 1926, La Chirurgie Esthétique.
Following World War I and the loss of so many working men in Europe, women filled the openings in the workforce. Yet, agism in the workplace ran rampant among women. The nicer positions, called white blouse jobs, were only held by young women who were attractive.
Noël operated on those older women who had been fired, and she operated for free. She wanted women to be able to work longer and have economic independence. Her good intentions saw success as well through her work.
She advised her patients to not tell anyone that they had cosmetic surgery done. This early practice has persisted nearly 100 years later to our culture and society today!
The director takes the viewer through the journeys of two female comedians looking to get plastic surgery done. Both Emily Askin and Jackie Hoffman want to have work done on their nose, but for different reasons.
Emily is in early 30s and is a rising comedian in Philadelphia. She sees her nose structure holding her back. She sees the bump on it and the way it dips when she smiles as something to be fixed. Her mother, who has good interview time, points out that she loves Emily just as she is. Rob, Emily’s fiance, echoes that sentiment and says he will accept her however she feels best.
Jackie Hoffman is on the other side of the comedian spectrum. She is in her late 50s, she has had a successful career thus far, and she has often mocked her own appearance in her comedy. The documentary shows that this is common for female comedians, and Jackie is great at it. She is at a point where she wants a few minor procedures done though. Her husband loves her the way she is, but he is also understanding and empathetic of her self-esteem and self-image.
Mixed into their stories are commentary and opinions from plastic surgeons, authors on the subject, fellow comedians and entertainers, friends, and family. This backdrop aids the narrative by providing other perspectives and outlooks on the procedures and what mental state the patients are in.
Comedian Lisa Limpanelli shared the factors that influenced her decision for plastic surgery, and the film took a more serious turn.
Through citing famous entertainers and their relationship with plastic surgery, including Joan Rivers, Totie Fields, and Phyllis Diller, Kron pulls back the curtain on cosmetic surgery. Many, if not most, female entertainers have had procedures done. Their reasoning is as varied as their stories.
I won’t spoil the documentary or give you too much information, because you need to watch it! It is 90 minutes that leave you thinking about what you’ve watched for days and days. Changing perspectives and gaining understanding are the two most noble pursuits a filmmaker can hope for, and Kron has succeeded in both through this documentary.
I loved Take My Nose…Please!, I loved Joan Kron’s style, and my eyes were opened to world that was foreign to me up to this point. As a male in his mid-20s, and as a lover of both film and music, I recognize that there are beauty standards in the industry. I recognize that actresses can hit a dry spell if they do not match the look and expectations of Hollywood.
This movie opened my mind, and more than that, my heart.
There are people in my own life that have received cosmetic surgery and have kept it a secret. For them, I say watch this film.
There are people who decry it as a terrible practice. For them, I saw watch this film.
Honestly, Joan Kron has delivered a documentary in Take My Nose…Please! that everyone should watch. Nip it. Tuck it. Stretch it. Watch it.
Take My Nose…Please! opened October 6th in New York at the Village East Cinemas & it Opened October 13th, 2017 in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica Film Center.
Just a short list of the Festivals and Awards for the film:
The Knight Documentary Achievement Audience Award – Miami International Film Festival
Audience Award – Berkshire International Film Festival
Official Selection – Newport Beach International Film Festival; San Francisco Doc Fest;
Arizona International Film Festival; Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival;
San Luis Obispo Film Festival; Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival; and many more!