John Belushi’s entrances onstage elevate a smile with the promise of unruly vitality. However his early exit from life after a drug overdose left a legend that tends to seal his tomb. So it’s touching to be taught one thing new from “Belushi,” R.J. Cutler’s warmly instructed documentary: the person who as soon as impersonated a zit additionally wrote soul-bearing (and generally lovely) love letters.
Judith Belushi Pisano (previously Jacklin) was the comedian’s lifelong sweetheart, and Cutler’s biography hits residence hardest as a type of love story. However Belushi’s profession trajectory is faithfully charted — from Second Metropolis to “The Nationwide Lampoon Radio Hour” to “Saturday Evening Reside” to “Animal Home” and the Blues Brothers. The gang’s all right here, in audio interviews: shut pal Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, a peevish Lorne Michaels, Jane Curtin, brother Jim, Carrie Fisher, and extra, musing candidly on Belushi’s magnetism and lots of drives. (Some excerpts come from Judy’s 2005 e-book, “Belushi: A Biography.”)
Belushi’s unimaginable Joe Cocker routine underlines his origins in a counterculture that quickly served the needs of mass leisure. Cutler additionally consists of illuminating tales of Belushi’s background. The Illinois native was the son of an Albanian diner proprietor, and his mom as soon as ran away to behave in a play. Who knew the classic cheeseburger sketch had a poignant echo together with his father’s office?
Belushi’s assured physicality within the second was paired with an underappreciated cleverness (which could not give all generations the identical rebellious kick). However “Belushi” faucets the sweetness in a cultural fixture with an irreplaceably wild sense of enjoyable.
Not rated. Operating time: 1 hour 48 minutes. Watch on Showtime.