Say It Isn't So

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Well-meaning idiot Gilly (Klein) is on the verge of engagement to Jo (Graham), the new arrival in town, when he discovers that he is actually her long-lost brother. Stigmatised and traumatised, the two break up, but when Gilly discovers that the revelation is false, he sets off to stop her marrying another.


Billed as a taboo-breaking Farrelly brothers comedy, this is in fact only produced by Bobby and Peter, and it shows.

Although the usual Farrelly elements are present and politically incorrect - an incest plot, a (literally) legless black man, a stroke victim swearing liberally via a Stephen Hawking-style computer - Rogers' anodyne direction lacks their wit and invention, and loses its nerve at crucial moments.

The incest plot, for example, is quickly dropped - Rogers clearly unwilling to exploit the darker comic potential of the scenario - instead favouring a procession of dim-witted 'sister-shagging' cracks from the pantheon of 'comedy' villains, a textbook case of flogging a dead horse. This is comedy without conviction, desperately wanting to shock but ultimately lacking the balls, brains and heart to emulate its most obvious inspiration: 'There's Something About Mary' (with which it shares a road trip plot and a central love story of slight obsession).

Rogers - who next directs 'American Pie 2' - completely wastes not only a succession of gross-out sight gags, but his (on paper, at least) talented cast. Klein, so effective as the kind-hearted idiot in 'Election' and 'American Pie', trots out yet another variation on the character as the well-meaning Gilly, but this time fails to display anything approaching likeability, intelligence or comic timing; one day he will wish he had acting range.

Orlando Jones, as the faux-legged Hendrix-a-like sidekick Dig McCaffrey achieves the impossible by managing to be more annoying than Chris Tucker, and yes, that is two-time Oscar-winner Sally Field, inexplicably slumming it as the trailer trash mom, Valdine.

Such thespian desperation may yet befall Heather Graham, whose atrocious turn as tortured blonde Jo is easily the funniest thing in the movie, albeit unintentionally so.

Seemingly under the impression that this is the Greatest Love Story Ever Told, and not some low-rent piece of crap, Graham spends the movie in perpetual floods of tears (perhaps realising what she was getting herself into), her bug-eyed schtick devoid of humour yet full of embarrassment. Which sums things up quite nicely, too.

With only a smattering of genuine giggles strewn across 90 minutes, this is heavy-handed comedy of the very worst kind. Has the gross-out teen sex comedy bubble burst? On this evidence, please God, say it is so.