Say It Isn't So


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

In the realms of naff, there are limits. When the central theme is incest and the running gag a legless black man whose artificial limbs keep falling off, bad taste turns rancid.

Shelby, Indiana, is the archetypal small town. Nothing happens. Everyone is into everyone else's business. Being nice and normal has rarity value and that's what Gilly (Chris Klein) is. Some might take that goofy smile as evidence of brain malfunction, but it's just gullibility's way of compensating for intellectual white space.

He works at the pet rescue centre and bonds easily with animals. He's not manic, like Ace Ventura, but an abandoned child with people-pleasing skills. When Jo (Heather Graham) arrives in town, the guys drop their lunch boxes and hurry over to the beauty parlour, where she works. She murders a head of hair, but looks so dang pretty doin' it, queues start forming.

For reasons that would take hours to analyse, she falls for Gilly, one of nature's innocents, and he goes wobbly over her. They love each other so much, they squeak, and then a half-baked private eye comes up with the news that Jo's mum, Valdine (Sally Field), is Gilly's mum, too. Double yikes!

Jo's daddy (Richard Jenkins) is a stroke victim. He talks gubbly-goo and dribbles, flopping about in a wheelchair. Valdine has the dress sense of a trailer park whore and thinks Gilly's not good enough (not rich enough) for her little girl. Once the maternity grenade is thrown at her, she goes all squeamish and treats Gilly like a sex criminal, encouraging Jo to hook up with her former boyfriend, Jack (Eddie Cibrian), who is handsome, mega-moneyed and a criminal.

What remains of the story concerns Gilly's attempt to save Jo from Jack and win her back, knowing for sure that he's not Valdine's son. Being hopeless, he needs a helping hand, which comes from Dig McCaffey (Orlando Jones), the legless bush pilot.

The film is helmed by the Farrelly brothers's favourite assistant director, J B Rogers, in the style of Dumb And Dumber. Graham, who caused such a sensation in Boogie Nights and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is a pale shadow of herself and Klein (Election, American Pie) continues to play the same role, without apology.

Valdine is an appalling woman and Field lets you know it. She's the best/worst thing in this stupid place.

Reviewed on: 14 Jun 2001
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Say It Isn't So packshot
Bad taste comedy about incest, stroke victims and a black bush pilot with no legs.
Amazon link

Director: J B Rogers

Writer: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow

Starring: Heather Graham, Chris Klein, Orlando Jones, Sally Field, Richard Jenkins, John Rothman

Year: 2001

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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