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Strangers with Candy (R)

Release Date: June 28th, 2006 by THINKfilm.
The Cast: Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Deborah Rush, Carlo Alban, Maria Thayer, Chris Pratt, Elisabeth Harnois, Joseph Cross, Gregory Hollimon, Dan Hedaya, Matthew Broderick, David Pasquesi, Alexis Dziena, Ian Holm, Sarah Jessica Parker, Allison Janney, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Directed by Paul Dinello.

BASIC PREMISE: Jerri Blank (Sedaris), a 46-year-old, enrolls back in high school to make her comatose father (Hedaya) proud of her.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: How much you laugh during Strangers with Candy depends on whether you have tolerated the TV show of the same name and how funny you think over-the-top, low-brow humor is. From the very start, Amy Sedaris transforms into Jerri Blank with a terrifically comic performance—especially with her absurd looks and facial expressions. Everything in this movie feels absurd including the thin plot which includes Jerri trying to fit into the social circle in her high school and partaking in a competitive science project all while trying to awaken her comatose father. Even though the comic momentum gradually wanes, there are a few great cameos which save the film from going completely bland, such as Ian Holm as a bizarre doctor, Sarah Jessica Parker as an impatient guidance counselor, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the Head of the Board of Education. Admittedly, Jerri’s comic shtick—of a dumb adult acting like a teenager in a nasal voice—gets a bit old and annoying eventually. If you loved the stupidity and juvenile goofiness of the Beavis and Butthead series, you will be able to easily sit through Strangers with Candy.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2 IN A NUTSHELL: Outrageously funny! Fans of the TV show and dumb humor will love every minute. Amy Sedaris is terrific. However, non-fans won't find much to laugh at and be bored by the thin, absurd plot.


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