This thoroughly entertaining documentary goes out of its way to reassure us all that cosmetic surgery really is the way to go especially if we want to hang on to our youth just a tad longer than nature cruelly intends we cannot. The film is by an expert on he topic as it is the feature film directing debut of 89-year-old Joan Kron a legendary beauty magazine journalist who evidently has been trumpeting the cause for years, and whose efforts have been showered with awards from surgeon associations.
To avoid the whole subject getting too serious however, Kron focuses on a few comediennes and comic actresses to get her point across. Several of them have used their disdain for their own looks as material for their acts, none more than Jackie Hoffman who has made her physical self-loathing a major part of her spiel.
Hoffman is one of two women on the cusp of deciding to get some work done, and her approach is possibly a tad more philosophical than others. Very much aware that her ethnic Jewish look has played a significant part in propelling her career as an extremely successful character actor, she openly discusses her angst that by altering her nose it may redefine her appearance too much. When it is all over, and after she has turned down the offer of adjusting her chin too, Hoffman looks in the mirror and rather sanguinely exclaims that the new nose is pretty, but however she is still not.
Like Hoffman, Emily Askin a improv performer, was also about to embark on surgery to smooth out the shape of her nose, even though her soon-to-be-husband, really didn’t think it was necessary. That however was another part of the reasoning that Kron’s talking heads were all suggesting that the reasoning for anyone prepared to even consider surgery was that there were doing it purely to make themselves happier with how they perceive their looks.
The film looks back at the early surgical pioneers in the field when only minor changes were possible and leaving nasty scars that needed to be covered with hair and/or hats. Kron takes us gently through the period when discretion was de rigeur and no-one ever publicly even discussed the matter let alone admit to ever having had work done. She gives a great deal of credit to changing these attitudes to some of the very first successful TV comediennes such as Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers who not only boasted about their surgeries but were confident enough to buck the derision and adverse comments from all (mainly male) quarters.
Credit to Kron who although she gives the impression that cosmetic surgery is today’s holy grail, she does even the piece with a few detractors like Guilia Rozzi who suggested that altering nature was a slap in the face to the ethnicity of her parents. Kron also includes one sad tale too when a bad reaction to surgery first cost TV comic Totie Fields her leg, and soon after that, her life.
Take My Nose …Please! will probably be enough reason for women sitting on the fence to now finally take the plunge. There is certainly plenty of them who have seen this documentary in such a light that it even picked up an audience award at the Miami Film Festival. Which as this is the hometown of queerguru, we really can say that was hardly a surprise!