Say It Isn't So (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Middle-management parrots often repeat the chiche that you have to train a replacement in order to get promoted. When you have a unique talent, it isn't easy to train a replacement. What do you think the chances are of being promoted to agency head when you are the greatest ad copywriter in history. Precisely zero. They can always find someone to manage the business, but they can't find a replacement for your talent. This is why great copywriters make more than agency heads, and why great baseball players make far more than their managers. There isn't any way for them to train a replacement and get promoted to management. 

The same is true with comic geniuses. Imagine Jim Carrey or Andy Kaufman training a replacement so they could manage their own studios. Imagine the Farrelly brothers training a replacement, so they could move up and become producers.

Oops. They already tried! Say It Isn't So is the attempt by the Farrelly's to train replacements for themselves as writers and directors. Didn't work.

The Farrelly formula was about the same - jokes about embarrassing bodily functions, making fun of the handicapped, various politically incorrect gags, followed by a likeable guy kinda triumphing over the assholes. Yup, that's the formula ... 

... but writing a five act play in iambic pentameter doesn't make you Shakespeare. 

Chris Klein plays a poor small-town orphan who's a lonely schmuck at the beginning of the picture because he has never met the right girl. Then he meets Heather Graham, and it turns out that they are soul mates. They have six glorious months of movie love (jumping up and down is the most common symptom of this malady; running toward each other in slow motion "runs" a close second ) until he makes a movie proposal. Everything is hunky-dory until Klein finds out the identity of his real parents - and they are the same people as Graham's parents. Oops!  Well, Klein stays in the home of his newly discovered trailer-trash parents, but Graham is so humiliated by the revelation, that she flees to Oregon. 


Courtney Peldon is topless in an early scene. she plays the rebellious daughter of Klein's boss, and she exposes herself at the dinner table.

There is a butt which belongs to Heather Graham's character. Since no face can be seen, it is not possible to say whether it is Graham's or a stunt butt. 

Graham and Klein do a dark sex scene in which her breasts are briefly visible.

Klein hasn't scraped the bottom of the barrel yet. What little dignity he has left is scraped away when he finds out that the brother-sister thing wasn't true, as demonstrated when the real brother shows up one day with conclusive evidence. At this point, Klein has lost his parents as well as his soul-mate. He resolves to go to Oregon and reclaim his love but now his "parents" don't want that, because their daughter is engaged to a rich man, so they are about to strike it rich and turn around their dismal existence. Therefore, "mama" calls up the Beaver, Oregon police and warns them of the sexual predator headed their way. Mama also neglects to tell Graham that Klein is really not her brother, thereby assuring that Graham will think he is a nutbag, and simply proceed to marry the rich guy.

It's not really a good movie. Klein and Graham are not funny people, even though they often play in comedies. Essentially they are both loveable kewpie dolls who are good at providing somebody with a "straight man". While comedy teams can include two comics, two straight men don't really make for great laughs. This is why you never see teams like Abbott and Rossi.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • a surprisingly complete DVD. Full length commentary by the director and Chris Klein, six deleted scenes, a comedy central special on the movie

The rest of the cast does try for laughs, but in a very unsophisticated way. The incest jokes here are like the jokes you might hear on the playground in fifth grade. Overall, the humor tends to be shrill and sometimes repetitive.

The one really funny thing in the film is Orlando Jones as a legless pilot, but even his material is very broad and childish, as if they decided to target those same fifth graders as their audience. Not a good idea, since the l'il nippers couldn't get in the r-rated film.

The movie was generally blasted by critics, and it bombed at the box as well, but you might find it a tolerable watch if you liked Dumb and Dumber or Me, Myself and Irene. It has some funny moments. Just be aware that it doesn't have the sustained loony inspiration and comic flair of the Farrelly's own movies. 

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: one and a half stars. Ebert 1/4, Berardinelli 1/4, Apollo 72. (Apollo's review was far from the norm, as you can see below)

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. Very poor reviews. 11% positive overall, and an even more depressing 6% from the top critics.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it low at 4.3/10, but Apollo users rate it a surprisingly high 77/100. 
  • With their dollars ... it grossed only $5 million domestically.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics - or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. Below average, sporadically entertaining gross comedy.

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