Take My Nose...Please! (NR)

Comedy 92 min. October 6, 2017
By Daphne Howland
Take My Nose … Please! rescues plastic surgery from Hollywood's "did they or didn't they?" gossip and reality television's odious voyeurism with a nuanced, empathetic (and often funny) introduction to a few women, mostly comedians, who've had work done or are considering it. Director Joan Kron covered the topic for Allure magazine for 25 years, and her doc is steeped in research, analysis and firsthand knowledge — the 89-year-old is open about it herself.

The crux of Kron's take is that female comedians are more frank than other stars about their physical alterations, starting with vaudevillian Fanny Brice — who in 1923 had her nose "bobbed" in a publicity stunt she hoped would get her into movies (famously portrayed in Funny Girl by Barbra Streisand, who has said she herself resisted the procedure to protect her pipes). For decades, in their acts and in interviews, Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers freely joked about it. More poignantly, Kron accompanies two working comedians on their medical consultations and understandably nervous deliberations as they contemplate surgeries; the physicians are kind and prudent, though the scenes of agonized decision-making at points could use a snip.

Kron's thesis is mostly persuasive, and it's delicious when she seems to catch a couple of her sources fudging about their own cosmetic histories. Her focus on comedy, though, denies some potentially potent discussion, such as whether Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey really does regret a nose job that rendered her looks less striking — another wrinkle in a complicated subject.
Joan Kron Emily Askin, Jacque Lynn Foltyn, Judy Gold

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