Say Anything

Columbus Alive | December 1, 2005
A toothy poster girl for the adage that looks can be deceiving, Sarah Silverman uses her pretty face and a ditsy, sunny disposition as a launching pad for explosively offensive comments almost no one else could get away with. Her unique, hysterical mix of vanity, insecurity and cluelessness, which lit up a few minutes of The Aristocrats earlier this year, now gets its own feature-length showcase, a semi-musical concert film directed by Liam Lynch.

The first line in the movie, “So then I said, ‘Shut up you stupid twat,’” sets the raw tone, though it’s delivered by fellow comedian Brian Posehn.

He and Silverman’s sister Laura are featured in the framing device that has Silverman dreaming up a one-woman show in one musical number. Something in the puffy clouds and cherry red convertible that accompany the song also belies Lynch’s background working with Tenacious D.

On stage, the comedienne chatters away about killing Jesus again if she had the chance and her lust for a rare jewel mined from the backbones of Ethiopian babies with an absent-mindedness so perfectly stupid, it’s brilliant. It’s when she breaks from the rhythm of her stand-up for more on-location musical numbers, listing the ethnic stereotypes her passion surpasses (“I love you more than Asians are good at math”) and serenading nursing home residents with “You’re gonna die,” that the movie falters.

Her voice is sweet and coquettish, and the thought of adding doses of something a little more cinematic than the standard comic on a bare stage makes sense, but choreography and eye-popping colors threaten to break the seemingly delicate spell Silverman casts that lets us laugh at things so heinous. Fortunately, it’s stronger than it looks.

Columbus Alive

Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
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