Austin Film Festival 2018 Review: CARE TO LAUGH

AARP Studios Presents “Care to Laugh” Documentary about Comedian Jesus Trejo

By Liz Lopez

Rating: A+

Comedian Jesus Trejo is born and raised in Long Beach, California and was named one of Variety’s Top 10 Comics to Watch in 2017. A regular at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, Trejo often appears on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, and can be seen on Adam Devine’s House Party, Season 2 of Stand Up & Deliver (NuvoTV), Uproarious (Fuse) and as a recurring cast member on TBS’ sitcom Sullivan & Son. In 2016, Jesus was selected as one of the New Faces of Comedy for the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal.

Jesus Trejo is the subject of AARP Studio’s feature length first original movie, “Care to Laugh” that made its World Premiere as the Closing Night film of the Heartland International Film Festival in Indianapolis on October 21st and now is at the Austin Film Festival.

“AARP Studios is all about creating compelling and entertaining content that connects with multi-generational audiences,” said Jeffrey Eagle, Vice President and Executive Producer, AARP Studios. “Filming Jesus’ journey as both a comedian and caregiver let us step into two worlds and explore the struggles and complexities of each. ‘Care to Laugh’ celebrates family and the power of laughter.”

In Austin, AARP Studios presented “Care to Laugh,” the feature-length documentary on Jesus Trejo, a rising star in the comedy world who is pursuing his dream of success while caring for his aging parents. “Care to Laugh” screened at the Austin Film Festival on Saturday, October 27th and will be screened again tonight, October 29th at the Hide Out Theater on South Congress at 9:45pm. If you do not have a festival badge or Film Pass, you can still try to buy an individual ticket at the door before show time. [Above: Jesus Trejo and Julie Getz, Director of Development for AARP Studios – Photo credit: Mray Garcia]

During and after viewing the documentary in the theater, I was blown away with the content that was captured about Jesus and his parents, Adelaida and Antonio, over approximately twelve months. This is a film that I cannot stress how important it is to be viewed by the general public, especially first as we watch Jesus be a loving son who is taking care of his two elder and ill parents, as well as viewing how he is pursuing his dream of a career in comedy.

Jesus has been working towards his goal of earning a name for himself in comedy. He is an only child and things change when his mother undergoes emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor. Jesus juggles his responsibilities at home in Long Beach, Calif., with open mics and auditions in the Los Angeles area, often driving more than two hours each way every day. As he continues to build his career, the family then receives news that Jesus’ father has stage 2 colon cancer. Jesus becomes his parents’ sole caregiver.

He continues to reach for his dream while taking over his father’s landscaping business to keep the family afloat. It is a marvelous moment when the viewer gets to see him receive the news of an offer to be on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” After viewing the documentary, I am a forever fan of Jesus Trejo, as he continues to care for his parents. Those of us who do not have our parents may shed some tears and those who still have their parents in their life will reach for their phones to talk to them. In the still above, Jesus receives a blessing from his mama before heading out out to work. I held back, but I probably could have used a package of tissues at the time I saw this on the big screen.

Julie Getz, Director of Development for AARP Studios picked a great family to be the subject of their caregiving stories. I look forward to viewing more.

“Care to Laugh” will serve as the Opening Night film at the Chicago Comedy Film Festival on November 9th. A screening will also take place at DOC NYC on November 14 and 15. AARP plans to distribute the film wide in 2019.

Sources: Austin Film Festival, AARP Studios, Jesus Trejo and Julie Getz

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