Case Number 01346

SAY IT ISN'T SO

Fox // 2001 // 95 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // August 25th, 2001

The Charge

From the producers of There's Something About Mary comes a movie that takes family love to a whole new level!

Opening Statement

Bobby and Peter Farrelly are infamous for bringing moviegoers such cinematic wonders as Dumb and Dumber, Me, Myself and Irene and There's Something About Mary. Their brand of pee-pee/ca-ca humor plays very well with boys and men who are willing to get a laugh out of a man getting his testicles trapped in his zipper. The Farrelly Brothers have also tried their hands at producing. They were the talented minds behind the flop Outside Providence. Needles to say, their track record in that venue has not started out well. In 2001 they produced their second turkey, Say It Isn't So, a story about a boy and a girl getting it on, then finding out they're related. Starring Heather Graham (Boogie Nights), Chris Klein (American Pie), Orlando Jones (Evolution), and Sally Field (Soapdish), Say It Isn't So slurps its way onto DVD care of Fox.

Facts of the Case

In a small Indiana town, Gilly Noble (Klein) and Jo Wingfield (Graham) have found what so many of us desire: true love. Gilly is working at an animal shelter when he meets Jo, a new-to-town hairdresser who falls for Gilly's goofy charm. Soon the two lovebirds are spending everyday together, and six months into their relationship Gilly asks Jo to marry him. She accepts and they're off for wedded bliss...until Jo and Gilly find out that they're really brother and sister!

Gilly is an orphan who never knew his parents. A local detective (Brent Brisoe, A Simple Plan) has helped Gilly track down his real birth parents. To Gilly's horror, he finds out that they are the parents of his fiancée! To make matters worse, Jo and Gilly have consummated their relationship already! For those of you who are a wee bit slow, this means that brother and sister have done the horizontal mambo!

Embarrassed, Jo quickly leaves town and gets engaged to an old flame, the super rich Jack (Eddie Cibrian, But I'm A Cheerleader!). Gilly sadly stays behind and decides to set up shop up with his "parents," the obnoxious Valdine (Sally Field) and stroke victim Walter (Richard Jenkins). Everyone seems to have a broken heart until Leon (Jack Plotnick, Gods and Monsters) shows up on the Wingfield's doorstep. It seems that Leon is actually the Wingfield's long lost son, not Gilly. As soon as Gilly makes this revelation, he takes off to stop Jo's marriage to Jack and win back his sist...err, I mean sweetheart!

The Evidence

I'm going to be straight with you: I am not a fan of the Farrelly Brothers. I recall seeing Dumb and Dumber and laughing for a grand total of three seconds. There's Something About Mary was just a notch above that. It's not that I don't have a sense of humor. Comedy is probably my favorite genre (well, right next to B-movies starring "Rowdy" Roddy Piper). My problem is that there are only so many penis/farting/vagina/sperm/handicapped jokes I can stand in a two-hour period. I have this small theory on comedy: slapstick comedy tempered by witty writing is funny (i.e., Tommy Boy). Witty writing alone is funny (i.e., most Albert Brooks films). Slapstick comedy for more than a half hour wears quickly thin. I am sure that many people will disagree with this statement. I, however, firmly stand by it.

Say It Isn't So is the best title I can think of for this movie (if you understand why, then you are smarter than the average bear). I realize it sounds like I was prejudiced coming into Say It Isn't So. The truth is, I was hoping that I would find it pretty funny. The reviews I'd read stated that the movie wasn't nearly as funny as the Farrelly Brothers' earlier attempts. This being the case, I thought maybe that meant less poo-poo jokes and funnier one-liners. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Say It Isn't So substitutes real wit with gross gags. Apparently, the makers of this flick thought it would be hysterical to have the protagonist's arm up a cow's butt. Or better yet, have a paraplegic covered in bees. Not funny enough? Then wait a few minutes. There will be some other disgusting gag on the way. In and of themselves these gags might be funny, but in Say It Isn't So they fall as flat as pancakes. Why? Because they've all be done (in one form or another) before in funnier movies. Caddyshack includes one of the most disgusting jokes in history featuring a misunderstanding, a Baby Ruth candy bar, and a pool filled with swimmers (and that's all I am saying). This gag is not all that funny on its own, but when placed in the context of a funny script and a great cast...well, you get the point. Say It Isn't So lumbers on from joke to joke, each one never really connecting to the other. How many times must the audience be subjected to a man receiving oral pleasure, than finding out it was really the cat? I'm not sure, but Say It Isn't So is one too many.

Heather Graham has proved that she is not the most apt actress to do comedy. Anyone who saw her in the sequel Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me should know that. She is a fine actress when given the right material (although not hysterical, she did nice job in Steve Martin's Bowfinger). Here she seems out of her league among comedy that is just too broad. Chris Klein is also floating in the same boat. Klein is funny playing a doofus in films like American Pie, though he seems sorely out of his element here. He just doesn't have what it takes to deliver most of the gags. He tends to slowly drag his feet, drawing out each comedic element as if he is slightly drunk. Maybe if other actors had occupied these parts, Say It Isn't So would have been tolerable. As it is, only Orlando Jones as a pot-smoking crippled pilot knows how to play this material, and even he seems somewhat lost.I did laugh a few times during this movie. However, they were obviously light chuckles, as I can't even recall which parts I laughed at.

And who thought it was a good idea to cast Sally Field in this type of film? Whoever you are, you were wrong.

Say It Isn't So is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Fox has done a very good job of making the transfer look sparklingly new. The colors are vibrant and bright, blacks solid. I didn't even spot any edge enhancement! I think it's safe to say that the transfer is the best thing about Say It Isn't So.

Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The track is mixed evenly, though is nothing impressive. The surround feature was engaged mostly during musical sequences, and then was back to normal for the rest of the film. Dialogue, music and effects were all mixed perfectly. No distortion or hiss was detected. Also included is a Dolby 2.0 Surround track in English and French, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.

Say It Isn't So might be considered a special edition of sorts, as it features a bunch of extra goodies for the consummate viewer of all things flatulence. First up is a commentary track by director James B. Rogers and actor Chris Klein. Rogers and Klein were each recorded separately then edited together to make for a fluid commentary track. This is a relatively dry track featuring two very bland commentators. Each give small insights into the film -- though Say It Isn't So is set in Indiana, it was actually filmed in Pomona, California! If that type of information tickles your fancy, then you'll just go bonkers over this commentary track. For the rest of us, this is pretty unengaging stuff.

Next up is a "Making Of Featreutte" on Say It Isn't So. The whole thing lasts only around four minutes and is nothing more than a promotional spot for the film featuring a few interview snippets and quick behind-the-scene shots. There are six deleted scenes, including an extended ending that gives a bit more closure to the Jo and Gilly characters. The other five scenes are not very funny and don't look as if they would have helped the finished film in any way. Oddly, some of these scenes are in black and white and others are in color, maybe to distinguish between what was cut and what was kept. All deleted scenes have optional director's commentary. Rounding off the extras is an anamorphic theatrical trailer and five television spots.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

I've complained long enough. This is not my cup of tea, though as I have commented before, comedy is obviously subjective. Who knows, you may just laugh a gallon of milk out your nose watching Say It Isn't So.

Closing Statement

Say It Isn't So will probably be entertaining for those who found Kingpin or There's Something About Mary funny. Otherwise, I'd avoid this movie. I think we can agree that we've all seen a man get his hand stuck up a cows butt, and seen it done better. Either way, Fox has done a great job with the video and audio portions of this disc, and included some decent supplemental material for fans of booger jokes.

The Verdict

Guilty for being the same old thing when it comes to gross out comedy. Say It Isn't So goes through the motions without any vivid originality. Fox is acquitted for putting out a nicely packed disc.

Review content copyright © 2001 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Video: 98
Audio: 92
Extras: 80
Acting: 73
Story: 68
Judgment: 62

Perp Profile
Studio: Fox
Video Formats:
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (French)

Subtitles:
* English
* Spanish

Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks
* Commentary by Director James B. Rogers and Chris Klein
* Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
* Deleted Scenes
* "Making Of" Featurette

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0239949/combined

* Official Site
http://www.sayitisntsomovie.com/