Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic (2005)

Gonna hafta echo the same criticism as everyone else, it seems, which is: Standup very funny, staged scenes not so much. The dividing line is whether or not the film provides enough humor to your liking even with the structural problems. And for me, it was quite funny enough to forgive the flights into pointless execreble taste (the porn-star song, for example). Silverman has a sharp and scaborous wit that gets enhanced by her li'l-ol'-me delivery (it's like she doesn't realize what she's saying), which could either be a tonic for making some of the harsher stuff go down easier or a lashing sort of self-satire that implicitly asks the audience, "What kind of thoughtless person would say stuff like this?" In other words, is Silverman interrogating her persona even as she inhabits it, or is she just being naughty? I lean towards the former (her act is too aware of itself to just be aimless vulgarism), which brings up another question: Does this then become legitimate social satire, or is it still just a bunch of truly tasteless jokes(TM) even with the veneer of self-satire? Again, I lean towards the former, but your mileage may vary. Then again, all humor is subjective, right? Short version: I dug this more than Jews love money.

Grade: B


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