STRANGERS WITH CANDY
STARRING Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello
DIRECTED BY Paul Dinelllo
Friday, August 18
Co-created by Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and director Paul Dinello, Strangers With Candy is an uneven comedy about a 46-year-old ex-junkie, named Jerri Blank (Sedaris) who, after serving many years in prison, comes home to her father (Don Hedaya) in a coma and news that her real mother is dead. Her family doctor (Ian Holm) tells her that she may be able to raise her father from his eternal slumber if she "does good." So, Jerri decides to do something good with her life she decides to go back to high school.
Strangers With Candy is the prequel to the cult comedy television show with the same name and is essentially just sketch comedy played out by very smart satirists. This movie pokes fun at almost everything from social conservatism and homosexuality to race relations and teen angst.
It has a weird highbrow/lowbrow feel to it. Some of the jokes are very subtle while others rely on farting sounds and the word "fag" to get a laugh. Stephen Colbert is just about the funniest man on the planet right now and his turn as a right-wing-anti-creationist-closeted-homosexual-born-again-Christian-science- teacher is downright hilarious. Too bad he doesnt have a better movie to be funny in.
To be honest, I have never seen an episode of the now-cancelled television show, but I dont think that should matter. Movies should stand alone and shouldnt require a members-only policy (that goes for movies based on books, too). As is, Strangers With Candy is simply a cheap-looking, sophomoric, one-note film that you will either laugh at or be offended by.
The film boasts an incredible supporting cast including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alison Janney, Ian Holm, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. Clearly, Im missing something. Why did these talented people do this silly little film?
OK, admission time. I hate not being in on the joke. To be fair, I did laugh out loud a bunch of times because, lets face it, there is something funny about a house wife saying (almost aggressively), "Of course I know what a Rusty Trombone is!" I really wanted to like this movie more, not because of any preconceived expectations, but because I share the films satirical sense of humour (dick and fart jokes et al). Maybe I shouldnt be asking so much from a movie that has an African American character in it named Onyx Blackman.