The film—skillfully helmed by Brent Hodge and Derik Murray and featuring talking-head testimonials from family members, friends, and costars such as Mike Myers and Bob Odenkirk—heralds "Tommy Boy" as definitive and notes how winning a romantic lead Farley is in "Coneheads".
As a thoughtful examination of its subject’s life, I Am Chris Farley has its moments, but it plays more like a loving tribute than documentary, as if a bunch of his friends got together to tell stories. In that way, it succeeds, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that the picture isn’t complete.
The movie is never able to get to the bottom of why the man so loved by his friends was unable to be comfortable out of the spotlight. But I Am Chris Farley is a warm, nostalgic reminder of a talent who died before his time.
Co-directors Brent Hodge and Derik Murray go exclusively to interviewees who lived or worked with the oversized, overenergized man, all of whom clearly loved him, and if the tone of their remarks (affectionate, amazed at his charisma) is totally predictable, the specifics have enough color to hold the interest of a casual fan.
Perhaps fearful of venturing into downer territory, I Am Chris Farley sticks to slickly edited, bite-sized anecdotes about an attention-starved Midwestern goofball unprepared for stardom, accompanied by storybook music that accentuates Farley's childlike nature over his darker impulses.