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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.08%
Worth A Look: 6.78%
Average: 13.56%
Pretty Bad42.37%
Total Crap: 32.2%

6 reviews, 23 user ratings

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Say It Isn't So
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by Erik Childress

"In a Year Of Bad Comedies, It May Be the Worst!"
1 stars

If the print of this film was coated in dead animal crap, dragged through every inch of the Hudson river from a boat found in Love Canal, regurgitated through the stomach of Billy Bob from Varsity Blues and then wrapped in the resumes of Pauly Shore and Freddie Prinze Jr., it couldn’t possibly stink any worse than what you see when its filtered through a projector. Some comedies just aren’t funny. Some have the right ticket and just miss the boat. This one dies on the Titanic before it even hits the iceberg.

For weeks and weeks, the ads for Say It Isn’t So have been prefacing the clips with “from the guys who brought you Mary.” Mary being Cameron Diaz’s dreamgirl in There’s Something About Mary made by those “guys” known as the Farrelly Bros. These “guys” have given us three of the funniest films made in the last ten years (Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin and Mary). But this film wasn’t made by those “guys”, only produced. Outside Providence was a film that used the same marketing scheme, but it wasn’t nearly as vindictive as this because it wasn’t perceived as a wacky, laugh-a-minute comedy. And Say It Isn’t So aspires to be just that and it succeeds…for just about a single minute.

The premise is freshly picked from the dark branches of comic possibilities. It stars Chris Klein as lonely animal shelter employee Gilly Noble. On the hunt for both his true love and his birth parents, he runs into the vision of beauty that is shapely hairstylist, Jo Wingfield (Heather Graham). Her lack of skill with the scissors make me wonder about her shaving techniques, but when an incredibly gross (and shockingly funny) accident in her chair lands Gilly in the hospital, love begins to blossom. So far, so OK.

Of course, we’re still in the first 15 minutes, which also includes a pretty funny sequence at the dysfunctional family table. It’s big punchline (already ruined in previews) has what seems like a 14-year old girl rip open her shirt to reveal her pierced (and rather fine, large) breasts. At the screening, I didn’t know whether to laugh or be worried that cops were about to arrest us all for gawking at a jailbait’s special place.

Then, faster than you can say Oedipus goes South, it’s revealed that Gilly and Jo are brother and sister. This should be a springboard for hilarity, but like a scared child it walks up to the board, makes a couple tiny jumps and never hits the pool. I can’t remember the last comedy I saw where I saw 75 minutes of straight dead air. I’ve seen some REALLY BAD comedies with an even longer minute-to-no laugh quotient, but they didn’t have anything going for it in the first place. This one does – INCEST!!!

To label an incest comedy in bad taste is like saying caviar is nothing but oceanic fetal matter. Say It Isn’t So is completely in bad taste. There are jokes about strokes, men & their own personal strokes, white trash, amputees, hairy women, and mental patients. And as a comedy, that’s fine, as long as its funny. But when you have writers, a director and a handful of actors who have no idea how to make it funny.

Starting off with leads Chris Klein and Heather Graham, who with each successive role continue to prove why they have no business getting parts. Klein has been milking variations on his lovable dufus role from Election in American Pie and now here with a stop along the way to play the most unsympathetic, biggest jerk romantic lead in last year’s Here on Earth. And Graham has continued to show a lack of talent for comedy since universally being raked as the weakest link in the Austin Powers laugh track. Sally Field simply embarrasses herself as Graham’s mother, a materialistic Springer candidate. Only Farrelly regular Richard Jenkins seems to have any handle on why his drooling, voice-boxed multiple stroke victim is funny.

Supposedly, their biggest support in the film is coming from soft drink pusher Orlando Jones, whose presence in a comedy usually marks the kiss of death. Here, as a travelling veteran with a pair of detachable legs, Jones manages once again to possess the ability to put a straight face on a Hyena on pot fasting than you can say “WIPE THAT SMIRK OFF YOUR FACE, PYLE!” Am I the only one who thinks that Jones is the least funny aspect of the Sprite commercials? He seems to be gifted at creating characters, except that none of them are funny. Maybe he missed his calling and should be doing dramatic roles, because so far he’s more likely to make me cry than laugh.

Director James B. Rogers was a second unit specialist on all of the Farrelly’s films and you think he might have learned a thing or two. Everything is off in this film from the timing of gags to the general pacing, not to even mention that waste pile of a script from writers Peter Gaulke & Gerry Swallow whose last names are an accurate sounding description of what its like to sit through this film. Littered with one failed joke after another, Gaulke & Swallow weren’t even confident enough to follow through on their incest premise. Instead, less than ten minutes after its introduced, we know it’s a lie, something that the previews conveniently ruin as well.

The law of averages says that if you throw enough spitwads up against a wall, some of them will stick. The writers of Say It Isn’t So tried to use this technique, except they forgot the wet the paper. Those of you who desperately need to get their incestual comedy fix then should instead go out and rent David O. Russell’s “Spanking the Monkey”, which for all intents and purposes is a far better idea than ever seeing Say It Isn’t So.

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originally posted: 03/23/01 09:08:04
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User Comments

5/06/05 Indrid Cold Weak "Mary" ripoff. Graham is the only reason it's not a complete waste of time. 2 stars
2/21/05 Captain Craig Funny, bu sooo gross. Is it necessary. Some dialog cuts are in order 3 stars
9/26/04 Bucky Buckner Boone "Say it isn't so" says it all right there in the title; just awful 1 stars
3/02/04 ILLEGALLY BLOND I for one Say It Ain't So bad! Best "guilty pleasure" in a long time! 4 stars
6/02/03 Jack Sommersby Ugh. 1 stars
4/15/03 Jack Bourbon I didn't realize that Gaulke and Swallow teamed up for this film. 2 stars
1/02/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng J.B. Rogers is a try hard. Tries to be a combination of the Farrelly and Weitz brothers. 1 stars
9/03/02 P.Rodriguez Had it's moments......that is all 2 stars
7/24/02 artemishia it was extremely boring, but it had some good laughs 2 stars
6/06/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi his film was really disappointing 2 stars
5/22/02 officer 412/l i only watched it because of lovely miss graham was in it. unfunny and suprisingly boring 1 stars
2/28/02 Alan Smithee Absolutely terrible, but at least Heather Graham looks fantastic in it. 1 stars
1/20/02 Andrew Carden Confusing, but Fairly Amusing Little Comedy. 3 stars
1/05/02 specialK VERY disappointing 2 stars
12/25/01 Bri ok, good commentary on dvd 4 stars
9/17/01 The Bomb 69 I popped my stitches laughing so much, then I fucked my sister!!! 5 stars
8/28/01 Connor Dueck It's been done, but I still didn't stop laughing throughout the movie 4 stars
8/24/01 Mr. Hat I got kinda pissed about what happens to Chris Klein, but it's is funny.Farrellys kick ass! 4 stars
4/16/01 Rampage 2 words to describe this movie: absolute stupidity 2 stars
3/25/01 Sid 6.7 A raunchy comedy produced by the Farrelly brothers that's extracted shock value and humor 1 stars
3/25/01 Sammy I almost crapped my pants I laughed so hard 5 stars
3/24/01 Nordo Proof that Hollywood is scouring the toilet bowl for a hit 1 stars
1/06/01 Tom Harmon Saw a sneak and it is a classic 5 stars
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  23-Mar-2001 (R)


  12-Apr-2001 (M)

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