Jessica Fischer dreamt of being an entertainer since childhood. When she moved to New York to pursue a career as an actress, she faced an uphill battle because of her weight. Jessica was clinically obese, weighing nearly three hundred pounds. Despite her weight, or perhaps because of it, she managed to carve a niche for herself as a standup comic who had little trouble making fun of her weight and cracking jokes at her own expense.
Overweight her entire life, she decided to have gastric bypass surgery when she was twenty-four-years-old to help her loose weight. And help her it did. Her transformation was dramatic. In two years she changed from a three hundred pound bag of fun to an attractive, petit woman who took herself a little more seriously than she had in the past.
Her transformation complete, she lost the urge to perform onstage as a standup comic and began to fill a void—once filled with food—with men and erratic behavior.
“What’s So Funny?” is a compelling documentary about a person’s self-image, and our species desire to crave more—be it attention, or something more ineffable. Overweight, Jessica was always the center of attention. Her life revolved around entertaining others. But after she lost weight, she, in a strange way, lost her way. She became distrusting of strangers. Overweight, she knew that if someone approached her, they were doing it because they liked her personality and wanted her company. Slim, she often finds herself wondering why she’s being approached, and if those approaching her would have gave her a second thought when she was fat. Even her best friend states that she was happier when she was fat.
This is a fantastic study about a woman who thought being skinny would change her life, which it did, but not in ways she could have ever anticipated.