In his too-short life, Chris Farley left us with a very distinctive impression of him: a big, enthusiastic, not very intellectual guy who would go to physical extremes to get a laugh. Since his death in 1997, he's also become a tragic figure. It's easy to lump him in with the other famous performers whose talent seemed to go hand in hand with excess and addiction. A new documentary, I Am Chris Farley, doesn't exactly try to dissuade us from that idea. What it does, however, is give us a more complete picture of Farley as a brother, son, friend, boyfriend, and coworker.
From his early days as a class clown, to his hard-partying college years, to the days when every Saturday Night Live guest specifically requested doing skits with him, the movie concentrates on the positive aspects of Farley's life. There are great clips from his Second City performances as well as those well-loved SNL sketches. This is no E! True Hollywood Story take on the downfall of a troubled star, and the details of his death from a cocaine and morphine overdose are glossed over. But if you're at all curious about the origins of the man some called the love child of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, this doc will give you the warm and fuzzies while teaching you a thing or two.