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Dumb and Brother

Say It Isn't So Is Farrelly Warmed Over

By Ian Grey | Posted

Say It Isn't So is your basic tale of love, sex, bodily fluids, cow shit, moronic peckerwoods, tawdry kitsch clothing, and the essential decency of folks plagued by the grossest possible juxtapositions of all the above. It is, in other words, a Bobby and Peter Farrelly film, even if the brothers are only producers lording over a farm team of past associates, including director J.B. Rogers (an assistant director on all their films) and writers Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow (who appeared in Me, Myself & Irene). Inevitably, inbreeding results in a thinning of the laugh pool.Chris Klein (American Pie) stars as Gilly, an orphan, aspiring veterinarian, and the standard Farrelly brothers ne'er do well. When not, say, getting his fist stuck up a cow's vagina, Gilly falls for the well-oxygenated head and other body parts of carefree hairdresser Jo Wingfield (Heather Graham) after she cuts off his ear mid-trim. The two consummate their love and plan to marry, but there's something about Jo. And Gilly. Turns out that Jo's parents, trashy gold digger Valdine (Sally Field) and stroke-paralyzed Walter (Richard Jenkins), are Gilly's real mom and dad, which turns him into a "sister slammer."

Even in Farrelly film, incest is considered poor form, so the two break up. Jo moves to Beaver, Ore. (imagine the jokes--they're all here), while Gilly tries to win her back from the arms of oleaginous marijuana-growing kingpin Jack Mitchelson (Eddie Cibrian). Along the way, Gilly hooks up with a double amputee (Orlando Jones), gets trapped in a loony bin with a deranged necrophiliac, glues pubic hair to his face, and, as they say, so on.

And so on. While it's an undeniable hoot seeing Fields do low comedy, Say It Isn't So isn't much more than an assemblage of component parts of past Farrelly films, stitched together by an editor apparently wielding a malign Weed Whacker. But that's not really what makes what makes Say such a dull bummer. In any good Farrelly film--and most of them are quite terrific--the tasteless gags are fueled by real concerns about class, race, and, of course, bodily fluids. The gross-outs serve to underline/define the characters' essential humanity. None of that good stuff is present here, leaving an underdone Egg McMuffin of a movie presumably served up to sate fans starving for a real Farrelly brothers comedy, such as the upcoming Osmosis Jones. Until then, we suggest that fans stay hungry.

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