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|Index||76 reviews in total|
This movie was hilarious, probably the funniest movie at Sundance this year. Its a must see for any fan of the show. But you don't have to have seen the show to enjoy it since the plot is basically the same as the show's. In it, Geri heads back to high school in order to save her father who is trapped in a coma. The principal cast from the show is all here and they're all wonderful, especially Principal Blackman, who in my opinion is the best part of the movie. Stephen Colbert is brilliant as always, and Amy Sedaris' portrayal of Geri is always amazing to see (especially if you've ever seen her without the make-up on). All in all, funniest movie I've seen since Shaun of the Dead. See it, seriously.
I saw the Strangers With Candy movie yesterday at a free screening. I'm
a huge fan of the show (I own all 3 seasons on DVD) and I couldn't
believe my luck at having been given a pass. For the most part, t.v.
shows don't translate well on the big screen and it pains me to say
that Strangers with Candy the movie is no exception to this rule.
Basically, the film is a re-hashing of the same gags and jokes true fans know and love (and will unmistakably remember) from the t.v. show. This lame regurgitation simply didn't work, and it was evident through the acting that the actors themselves felt uncomfortable reciting the same material.
A side note: At the risk of sound like a total obsessive nerd and the equivalent of SWC "trekkie"....why the hell did they change Derrick??? and the Flatpoint campus (not to mention its new location directly across from the Blank residence!) And this Megawatti person is such a lame substitution for Orlando!
This is not to say that the film didn't have it's funny moments--it did have it's fair share. The opening prison montage was especially funny and memorable. Stephen Colbert was hilarious in every scene, and Amy delivered as usual.
This was a pretty wacky movie - very unusual and unlike anything I've
This movie has fairly basic plot: a recently released 40+ year old lady wants to help bring her father out of a coma, so she embarks on the task of bettering herself by going back to high school and excelling. If it doesn't make sense, that's OK - it's nothing compared to the characters.
What makes this movie so unusual are the characters - the lead character (Amy Sedaris), the principal, the parents, etc. They are so strangely conceived and acted that it's really wild to watch. I guess that means that the actors and director did a pretty good job.
I can't say this movie was funny. Rather, it was amusing because of the extreme nature of characters. It was interesting to watch just to see what they were going to say next.
If you're in the mood for something really strange - check this out. You'll know after the first 10 minutes if this is something that's going to interest you.
What remains remarkable in the translation from Comedy Central TV show
to mainstream feature film is Amy Sedaris' complete lack of vanity in
replaying her comic alter-ego, the aptly named Jerri Blank, a 47-year
old ex-con who decides to return home after a lengthy prison term and
finish high school. The original concept for the three-season cult
series was a fun idea full of possibilities, satirizing the high-minded
seriousness of the ABC Afternoon Specials in the 1970's by having the
hapless Jerri learn some significant life lesson after going through
some humiliating situation. Probably a disappointment to dedicated fans
of the show, the 2006 movie is really no different except the
paper-thin plot feels dragged out to its eighty-minute length (wisely
cut from its 97-minute length in theaters). It has the additional
burden of feeling repetitive of the series without providing much more
in the way of texture or complexity.
Director Paul Dinello (who plays effete art teacher Geoffrey Jellineck), along with co-writers Sedaris and Stephen Colbert (who plays closeted science teacher Chuck Noblet), uses the opportunity to fill in a bit of Jerri's back story in coming back to the family home and dealing with her father's comatose state. According to kindly Dr. Putney, the only cure lies with Jerri's efforts to do her father proud by winning the school science fair. Of course, the easily misdirected Jerri wants to be part of the in-crowd, in particular, getting horizontal with Brason, the school's hunky squat-and-thrust champion. This consequently means turning her back on her science project team, the Fig Neutrons, which includes Tammi, Jerri's best friend and object of Sapphic desire, and Megawatti, the Indonesian geek who has an unexplainable crush on Jerri. Lots of hijinks ensue until the inevitable conclusion, including the insertion of several star cameos - Allison Janney and Philip Seymour Hoffman as bickering school board members, Sarah Jessica Parker as self-absorbed grief counselor Peggy Callas, Ian Holm as Dr. Putney, Dan Hedaya as Jerri's comatose father; and Kristen Johnston as a wheelchair-bound coach. Matthew Broderick actually has a bigger role as Noblet's adversary, the preening Roger Beekman.
Much of the TV series cast is here as well with Colbert the standout as the blustery, uptight Chuck who secretly yearns for Geoffrey, who spurns him to be Roger's idea man. For most of the time, it is fitfully funny if only because the scabrous screenplay takes no prisoners in its approach. Consider this the comic flipside to "Sherrybaby" with plenty of familiar elements from "Carrie" and "Napoleon Dynamite" thrown in for good measure. But most of all, it is a tribute to Sedaris' Borat-like transformative skills as a comic actress. The 2006 DVD has a commentary track by Sedaris, Colbert and Dinello, and although they are obviously having a good time together, much of that rapport surprisingly does not translate well for the viewer. There are eighteen minutes worth of deleted scenes, most understandably excised though interestingly, it looks like Parker's counselor was the chief victim of the cuts. Also included are the theatrical trailer (another case of a promising trailer that's a lot funnier than the movie itself) and a music video for Delano Grove's "Atomic Car".
If you are a fan of the series, then you will love this "interim" film.
The film covers the events that lead up to the television series, from Geri's parole, reunion with stepmom and dad, and heading back to high school. All of the regular characters are back (except Orlando, who would have been a good addition and better character than the new token non-white character). There are some great lines ("I'm not pushing you away, I'm just drawing me into myself") and fine interactions between Sedaris, Colbert, and Dinello.
This sold out at the Seattle International Film Festival (with a nice appearance from Dinello), and the audience was rolling the entire time. Great work and a must-see for any Geri Blank/Amy Sedaris fan.
The movie is great, for what it is. I am a loyal fan of the show and the cast and they did a good job of making a movie version of the series. However, it is important to note that this process is very difficult and the movie appears to be more of a long episode of the show. Nevertheless, it is enjoyable, with jokes that are easily accessible to those who have a clue about the world, and makes fun of those who do not. Paul Dinello, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris...all brilliant. Ms. Sedaris, a slight, cute woman in reality is vulgar and wonderfully crude. Stephen Colbert does a great job of being the born again Christian teacher (note the table of elements in the background of his classroom-it's in the shape of a cross!). And Paul Dinello is a reliable, humorous counterpart to Mr. Colbert once again. Parodying society in a parallel universe of a twisted after school special, it is wonderfully enjoyable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I like the series, I think it's hilarious. This movie takes the plot of a 1/2 hour TV show and stretches it to 90 minutes, making it VERY bland. They could have done a lot better with the whole thing. While it has a few laughs, it does not compare to the series as a whole. The jokes are so few and far between that the audience is itching for them when they come. It's really sad, this had a lot of potential. Even Stephen Colbert didn't seem to want to do a very good job with it. His character wasn't as biting or sarcastic as usual. I guess this could be considered as a prequel to the series because it tells the story maybe a week before the series starts, but it's nothing that couldn't have been picked up just watching the show. Totally unnecessary, not worth the drive all the way across town to the one theater that was showing it. The best thing about this stinker was seeing the trailer for John Cameron Mitchell's new movie!
Anybody in search of sophisticated comedy should avoid this movie like the plague. However, if you're a fan of blue comedy and belly laughs,"Strangers with Candy" is the one for you. The film like the short lived Comedy Central series is filled with cynical takes on adolescence, high school, family life and sex.If you're a fan of the show, the first glimpse of Jerri's hideous face will give you a serious case of the giggles immediately. She's the ultimate outsider, a real troll who says what the rest of us were afraid to say to the A-list kids in high school. The scene of Jerri's revenge on a student attempting to leave a "gift" in her locker will elicit laughter and some vicarious pleasure from all those who ever suffered the torments of bullies. Even when people try to victimize Jerri, they take a chance of being dragged down to her level of depravity, an irony not lost on fans. "Strangers with Candy" is a wacky look at a time in life that most of us would prefer to forget but the humor ranging from the elliptical to the scatological will make high school a lot more fun this time around. I haven't been in a theater with that much laughter since I saw "Animal House" in 1978. The ninety minute length of the film keeps the gags from getting stale.
This movie had very funny moments and the whole idea of a life first suspended -- for thirty-two years -- and then resumed exactly where it was left off promises great exhilaration. The plot is simple but cleverly executed with straightforward wit and healthy irony at the expense of much 'high-school' culture examined in a provocative way to repeat what many know (that racism is perniciously persistent in American education) but seldom face. Though far different in scope and much more ambitious, Crash comes to my mind as a term of comparison for the racism issue, but Strangers with Candy is neither as subtle nor as successful as Crash in making the audience confront their own denial about what racism is and how it manifests itself. Strangers with Candy is a truly funny movie with a somewhat serious message that never spoils the fun. I admit that in some moments I felt uncomfortable with the behaviors of some of the characters in relation to race; yet I do recognize that this is just a movie and reality is a lot uglier than any fantasy. But viewers should resist the notion that the movie is merely supposed to be funny. The plot and the purposefully unsubtle dialog inevitably should make one think of race and racism. I hope viewers will recognize that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After months of anticipation, SWC Movie finally delivers the same hilarious misadventures of Jerri Blank and co, as did the TV series. The re-workings of the original plot and cast for the big screen often enriched the viewing excitement and gave me, as a huge fan of the t.v show, some pleasant surprises such as some new faces. The audience of the screening I attended went wild at the debuts of the original cast and despite missing "Orlando", Jeri's new Indonisian side kick gave her a beautiful scene segue into the genius science fair dance-show spectacular. Amy Sedaris has created a legend, and I haven't laughed so hard since the first time I ever saw the t.v show. (spoiler), The pot smoking freak out was hilarious, and the prison montage was exactly what I wanted to see. I hope the addition of S.J. parker and ilk entice a new audience to the film and DVD collection. Paul Dinnello did a great job of keeping the cast true to form, and the plot absurd enough to remind us of the after school specials that one hopes the beginnings of the series took root. Steven Colbert brought his usual charm and ridiculous send ups of closeted school teacher and ran with it. This movie was so entertaining. I hope we haven't seen the last of this incredibly creative team.
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