SXSW Review: Mike Meyers Directorial Debut, ‘Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon’

supermensch-the-legend-of-shep-gordonEveryone should have a friend like Shep Gordon.

In Mike Myers’ directorial debut, he paints a loving portrait of his longtime friend, Hollywood legend, Shep Gordon. Before the screening, I’d never heard of Gordon. I had no idea he was so deeply involved in making household names the best known musical artists of the 70’s and 80’s. No idea he produced films and invented what we now know as ‘Celebrity Chefs’. The man has done it all and according to Myers and friend, Michael Douglas, has not made one enemy while rising to the top.

Why? Because he’s so damn nice. Because he’s a mensch.

A supermensch.

The film also isn’t just about him but about the rise of rock-n-roll. Gordon is probably the sole reason why Alice Cooper and his antics are forever in our minds. He’s also responsible for the careers or Anne Murray, the late Teddy Pedergrass, Luther Vandross and countless others. While making these guys stars, he had a blast doing it; romancing the ladies, the drugs – oh, the debauchery!

But, throughout the film, there’s an air of sadness. All Gordon wants is to have a family and kids of his own. With a series of lost love, unlucky breaks and bad timing, Gordon just can’t seem to gt to the one place in his life. And it’s kind of heartbreaking.

Most of his life has been spent helping others; by helping others attain fame and fortune, his massively good deeds to friends, family and strangers and his philanthropic work. Gordon is always in the care of others.

But when he finally wants this one thing for himself, he just can’t seem to grab it. He’s typically lighthearted about it but you can tell it’s the thing he wants most. To have a loving wife and child. And it’s sad because you just feel for this guy. You want him to get his golden ring of happiness.

Myers uses archival footage in a unique and hilarious way and Gordon is so interesting that you welcome each new story the pair introduces. And, the stories! If you’re a lover or inside Hollywood stories, then this film is for you.

One story that did resonate with me: Gordon was in the hospital for a life-threatening emergency. Thankfully, he made it and his recovery was outstanding. He decided to retire, so he called all of his clients to inform them of his decision. But, one client, Luther Vandross, didn’t take it too well. Vandross was such an ass about it that he re-printed his biography to remove everything he’d written about Gordon. Stay classy, Luther. Stay classy.

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