Gabriel Iglesias’ personal narrative is full of the sort of suffering that some stand-up comics can spin into neurotic gold: He was a poor kid who moved around various low-income housing areas of Los Angeles with his single mother and struggled with a weight problem (the title of this film comes from his nickname ”Fluffy,” a gentle adjective he uses to describe his girth). While Iglesias is perfectly competent as a comedian, he lacks the ability to really wrap his arms around his own personal narrative. Instead, he spends the bulk of his first stand-up film (directed by Manny Rodriguez and Jay Lavender) telling overlong tales that lack the surgical deconstruction they require. His charisma is undeniable, and he uses his natural affability to sell jokes that tend to be disappointingly obvious when they aren’t borderline offensive. Iglesias’ bit about his trip to India relies on his mimicking the native accent, and a story about a drinking binge is predicated on the idea that gay men are predatory.
The only time The Fluffy Movie reaches a point of engagement is when Iglesias talks about meeting his estranged father for the first time. But even then, he tosses away the fact that his mom passed away just as he was getting to know his dad, a detail he obviously finds harrowing. The best confessional comics meet that kind of pain head-on, triggering not only their own catharsis but that of the audience as well. Like much of Iglesias’ material, the movie almost gets in your face before flashing a friendly smile and forgettably floating away. Fluffy isn’t awful, just disappointingly lightweight. C