UNCLE FUN: YOU’RE THE ONE BY LAURA FORCE SCRUGGS

Directed by Laura Force Scruggs 

Uncle Fun: You’re The One directed by Laura Force Scruggs is a documentary which foretells the story of the late iconic Chicago novelty and toy store Uncle Fun and the man behind it, Ted Frankel. A documentary that projects Hope and following the heart of your own is sure to be widely accepted from all around the world.

 Scruggs love of the store, its ethos, and the owner Ted Frankel showed through. The movie runs for 60 minutes revolving around the story of how the store began (as well as the store before it, Goodies); what the Uncle Fun store and Frankel have meant over the years to many devoted customers. But there is always an opposite side of the coin, or to be precise where there is a start there is an end. Ted’s unexpected tragedy; the closing of the store; other fun stores around the country which was all was Uncle Fun inspired. It also films Frankel’s current life as founder and operator of Sideshow, the gift shop at The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

From 1990 to 2014, Ted Frankel owned and operated Uncle Fun, a Lakeview shop that sold novelty items and gags gifts. The mild-mannered Frankel could often be seen casually sporting a jester’s cap or a wig composed of glow sticks, and his stock included such staples as bacon-flavored lip balm, glasses with googly eyes, hordes of rubber cockroaches, unicorn snow globes, and enough fake poop and vomit to fake a yearlong stomach bug. The shop’s interior, roughly the size of a Starbucks, was crammed with shelves and drawers carrying miniature high-heeled shoes, rubber finger puppets, and other knick-knacks to pad out goody bags.

 Uncle Fun is a story about being happy, being yourself, following your heart, and having hope. Shown in a Digital Projection the quality of the video is uneven, and filmmaking narrative and the moments of bizarre and amateur singing sprinkled throughout. But that’s what independent cinema is all about. Right? Exploring new horizons, creating what is new and bringing the unexpected to the audience. UNCLE FUN: YOU’RE THE ONE directed by Laura Force Scruggs wins the heart of everyone irrespective of age barriers only because the movie is real, it has some brilliant acting and portrayal of real feelings. The love and care and meaning that Scruggs puts into the movie beat out all of those technical issues.

Laura Scruggs has performed her one-woman show, “Punk Grandpa,” around the country. She is so excited to now have it performed as a multiple character play (at the FRIGID Festival at NYC and Three Brothers Theatre) and it was published by Chicago Dramaworks. Her documentary on the Chicago novelty and toy store, Uncle Fun and the man behind it, Ted Frankel Gilmore, entitled “Uncle Fun: You’re The One” was premiered at Chicago Filmmakers. Overall  Uncle Fun: You’re The One is a great, quirky film, and well worth seeing, especially if you were a fan of the store. And even if you had never been, you get a great taste from the documentary.

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