by Preston Tolliver
We didn't get to see much of Chris Farley. And I don't mean that in the "he was taken too soon" sense. Sure, anytime a person dies at the age of 33, it's fair to say we didn't see enough of that person. But I'm talking about Chris Farley.
The real Chris Farley.
Not Chris Farley, the comedian.
In the trailer for “I Am Chris Farley,” Farley's former co-stars, friends and admirers offer the most telling glimpse into what brought about the destruction of who was supposed to be the next John Candy; the next John Belushi. It's impossible to say how high Farley's ceiling really raised, but if there's a common theme in the comments of Bob Odenkirk, Christina Applegate, Bob Saget a slew of ‘SNL’ alumni, it's that he sped too fast to reach it, refusing to stop on the way to catch his breath. The roles he played on ‘SNL,’ “Tommy Boy,” “Black Sheep,” “Beverly Hills Ninja” and so on quickly became who he was off the camera. Odenkirk's comments about halfway through the trailer: “You can't walk around being funny all the time. You have to be yourself sometimes, and you have to be alone sometimes,” prove the lengths to which Farley consumed his fame, giving up who he is off the screen for who his fans wanted to be. And in the end, that same fame would consume him.
Of course, this isn't some new development in the mystery that is Chris Farley's short-lived life. His last few months, especially, were more than telling of the spiral he'd found himself trapped in. The sweaty, worn out look that contradicted the agile and lighthearted Tommy Callahans and Mike Donnellys that bought him the fancy suits and sunglasses.
The documentary will recognize a lot of Farley's best traits that have yet to be matched: his kindness, his energy, his agility and his God-given comedic talent, but it'll also show us that dark side that we've wondered about since December of 1997.
Finally, we'll get to see the real Chris Farley.
“I Am Chris Farley” will release in theaters on July 31.