Never Be Done: The Richard Glen Lett Story follows the real-life tale of Canadian comedian Richard Lett and his struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. During Lett's darkest period in his life, we see him decide to turn the corner towards the road of recovery, redemption, and self-reflection.
Never Be Done is a powerful documentary about addiction, vulnerabilities, and understanding one's place in the world. Lett began his stand-up career in the 1980s, touring nationally for Yuk Yuk's Comedy Club. Lett is known for his abrasive and unapologetic sense of humor — running past the politically incorrect; Lett embraces the urge to provoke his audience. At times, his jokes cut sharp like daggers throughout the crowd. His provocation begins to spin more rapidly out of control the more he is consumed by his addictions. Comedy and tragedy begin to intertwine Lett's professional and personal life. Director Roy Tighe personally documents Lett's life from 2009 up until the present. Tighe and his crew simply stand behind the cameras, asking questions, and let Lett, himself, steer the show. Never Be Done pulls no punches; this is a raw documentary of one man's failure and a second chance awaiting. The documentary opens with Lett and Tighe both being ejected from a Vancouver nightclub due to Lett's overreaching brashness.
Lett has built his career on this type of stand-up comedy, yet the more reckless he gets, the more we see him getting barred from every nightclub in town. Tighe does not sugarcoat Lett's low period; we are here for the long hall. As Tighe and his crew observe Lett's fall to the bottom of the barrel — we, the audience, get an immersive experience of his dark struggle with addiction. Throughout most of this documentary, Lett is a hard person to root for — many of his jokes and approaches are openly racist, homophobic, and just plain mean. Yet, this type of raw, unfiltered lens is exactly what shows Lett's full recovery on not only cleansing himself but also trying to be a better person. One of these people who acts as an emotional crutch for Lett is his daughter, Breanna. In addition to his daughter is his good friend, Kathleen, who also helps him along the way. Kathleen works tremendously hard to help Lett out. Her tolerance and calmness are glimmers of hope throughout this doc. Through Lett's downfall, he becomes evicted from his apartment and is homeless at the end of 2009, beginning of 2010.
On top of being homeless and an alcoholic, Lett is also a cancer survivor. Climbing up from the rabbit hole, Lett pushes back at everything trying to swallow him down. He finally checks himself into a rehab center. We are with Lett during the lowest point of his career, but we also see him turn the corner and begin his healing process. Never Be Done was a raw portrait of one man's self-destructiveness collapsing before our very eyes. Tighe and his crew do a fascinating job and weave together this nuanced real-life story. At times, Never Be Done can be grueling to watch, yet the ending results are incredibly rewarding. Tighe and his crew tightly construct this documentary without overstepping their boundaries. We see a controversial comedian go from the highest to the lowest point in his career and life. Lett found his second chance at redemption and took it. At the end of this month, Lett will be 11-years sober. Never Be Done is a raw and moving experience of one's mental health and self-reflection. In the end, this tale of comedy, tragedy, and healing comes full circle.
Never Be Done is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube Movies, AppleTV, Google Play, Vimeo, Microsoft XBOX, Direct TV, Breaker, Comcast, Cox Communications, Dish and Xfinity.
Directed by Roy Tighe
Starring Richard Glen Lett
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