As a woman who understudied for Ethel Merman, Elaine Stritch is perfectly well-seasoned in how to be a charming sort of bitch. In fact, she may be the only living famous person able to carry off this persona. In Chiemi Karasawa's first directorial effort, Stritch is given the love letter she's long deserved, even if she does act a bit snide at times. And, to give you some idea of the emotions Stritch inspires in people, one of her AA comrades shown in the documentary appraises, "She is a Molotov cocktail of madness, sanity and genius."
Documenting her cameo appearances on 30 Rock and her Singin' Sondheim...One Song at a Time tour of major cities, Shoot Me is an eye-opening account of how to live your life fabulously during your golden years. Stritch herself quotes Bette Davis in saying, "Old age isn't for sissies." Indeed Stritch makes it look easy with her "one drink a day" policy, that is, until her diabetes catch up to her and land her in the hospital for a few days.
Equal parts candor and vulnerability, Stritch talks freely about her struggle with alcohol addiction and the daily temptation it gives her. The bittersweet part is, it's her one simple pleasure. When asking herself the question of what she would most want if stranded on a desert island, she states, "An open bar."
It isn't all grim, though. Another key part of the documentary shows Stritch choosing the room and decor she wants for her own dedicated studio at the Stella Adler Theater, where she once attended. She also talks lustily about some of her former flames, including Ben Gazzara and what she hoped would be Rock Hudson (though she probably only later realized that any attraction he had for her was likely due to her fag hag tendencies).