Now, we were especially concerned about this because my sister, Meg, lives in Tokushima, Japan and Tokushima is only forty miles from Kobe, which was the earthquake's epicenter. Meg's lived there for seven years and she has a Japanese boyfriend there whose name is Yamamoto and he's a sweet potato farmer and she calls him Yam for short and he doesn't speak any English so he doesn't know how funny that is."
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Welcome to a year in Julia Sweeney's life. It started out great - a successful TV stint, an amicable divorce, and finally the house of her dreams in LA. Life looked good - alone at last to contemplate the whatever! Until suddenly, God Said, "Ha!". Her brother got sick and moved in, her parents got worried and followed suit, and so she moved to the couch in the back yard office. Her dream house was suddenly over-run, and that's when Julia's life really started to unravel...
It is difficult to see Julia Sweeney, and attempt to dissect the real person from that "Pat" character she played so well on Saturday Night Live. And yet, after seeing God Said, "Ha!", a real, true, wonderful person emerges. A person that the audience ends up caring deeply about after all is said and done.
This is a mere monologue we are talking about, no cinematic wizardry to be found anywhere. I walked into this 1999 Palm Springs Film Festival offering cold turkey. After the first few minutes I started to catch on to the fact that the camera lens wasn't going to budge from a sparsely decorated stage, with Julia Sweeney standing upon it, talking directly from the hip. And that she did!
It is hard to imagine after listening to this true story completely unfold, that one can find so much humor in the misfortune of another. But I did, and I'm glad! I can't help but think that Julia Sweeney managed to keep her sanity through her entire ordeal by laughing at portions of it in much the same manner as we did!
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