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20th Century Fox presents
Say It Isn't So! (2001)

"Do you know what it is like to have the newspaper call you the boss of a sister f***er?"
- Larry (John Rothman)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: August 01, 2001

Stars: Chris Klein, Heather Graham
Other Stars: Orlando Jones, Sally Field, Richard Jenkins
Director: J.B. Rogers

Manufacturer: DVCC
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, crude humor and language
Run Time: 01h:35m:38s
Release Date: August 14, 2001
UPC: 024543020585
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C- CA-B B-

DVD Review

Perhaps it is a sign that I am growing older when I fail to develop even the slightest chuckle as movies like this milk jokes from incestuous relationships, stroke victims, and amputees. It isn't that I don't see the humor (or really, lack there of) in these films, but I am beginning to tire of the fact that each gross-out comedy released has to try to be more repulsive than others before it. Yet, when countless teenagers spend their hard-earned allowance to fill the theaters every weekend to see another cookie-cutter comedy, it is hard to say that this trend will end any time soon. J.B. Rogers' Say It Isn't So! is the latest entry into the gross-out comedy genre, and it may just be the worst yet.

The plot of Say It Isn't So! isn't so much a plot as it is an excuse to throw as many jokes as possible at the screen in a ninety-five minute running time. Gilly Noble (Klein) is a seemingly simple man living in the small town of Shelbyville, Indiana. Soon, Gilly's life is turned upside down when Jo (Graham), a hairdresser with little skill, comes into his life. Soon Gilly and Jo are head-over-heels in love and on their way to the altar. Then comes the obligatory bombshell: Since Gilly was given up for adoption at birth, little is known about his birth mother, until it is discovered that Valdine Wingfield (Field) is Gilly's birth mother—and also Jo's.

Flash forward sixteen months when Jo has left for Beaver, Oregon and is set to marry her millionaire ex-boyfriend Jack (Cibrian). News of the engagement is devastating to Gilly, because he has now learned that he and Jo aren't really siblings at all. Soon he is on his way to Oregon to stop the wedding so everyone can live happily ever after.

When it comes to comedies, I like to laugh, and it may be that reason that I find Say It Isn't So! to be disappointing. With even the worst film comedies there can be some humor (either intentional or otherwise) taken away after the credits role, yet Say It Isn't So! fails to deliver in either respect. The jokes about incest that litter the first forty-five minutes are slightly amusing, but soon instead of being humorous they become tiresome.

Say It Isn't So! no doubt owes its existence to the fact that it was produced by the Farrelly brothers. While the two have directed such laugh-filled films as There's Something About Mary and Kingpin, it is safe to say that the comedic Midas touch that the two put on their films is nowhere to be seen. Instead it is in the hands of newcomer J.B. Rogers, who seems unsure how to approach the gross-out humor, a skill that the picture sorely requires. Several moments that have the potential to provide large amounts of laughter fall flat due to poor direction and editing: the scene in which Gilly gets his arm stuck inside a cow (a place that neither the cow nor Gilly wish it were), in other hands may have been a successful gag that to transition to the next scene; yet Rogers drags it out, only to mine the well one more time minutes later.

Normally it is a bad sign that the supporting cast in a comedy is immensely more interesting than the two lead actors. Yet in Say It Isn't So! that is sadly the case. Both Klein and Graham fail to deliver in their roles, in part due to a lack of chemistry. In the end, I could care less if the two got together, just as long as they would wise up and stop being so oblivious to everything around them. In supporting roles, both Richard Jenkins and Orlando Jones do create a few moments of laughter, and Oscar®-winner Sally Field camps it up in her role as the greedy Valdine.

Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: As has become the case with Fox, the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer for Say It Isn't So! is nothing short of remarkable. Colors are vibrant with no bleeding evident, and black levels are deep without any traces of grain. Sharpness and detail give the transfer a very film like quality. The only problem with the transfer is the overly soft look that becomes noticeable from time to time, yet is never distracting.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English and Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Unlike most comedies the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for Say It Isn't So! goes beyond being a dialogue driven mix and into a decent if not overly active sound mix. The sound of a plane as well as the score by Mason Daring are evident on more than one occasion and the .1 LFE channel comes alive more than once. Dialogue is clean and clear and easy to understand. Dolby 2 channel mixes are also available in English and French.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English and Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 TV Spots/Teasers
6 Deleted Scenes
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director J.B. Rogers and actor Chris Klein
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:13m:06s

Extras Review: Considering the fact that Say It Isn't So1 is one of the larger bombs in the past year at the box office, Fox has delivered some nice extra features to this new DVD. First is a commentary track by director J.B. Rogers and actor Chris Klein. Neither of the two add things that are of any real interest outside of the fact that everyone was nice to work with. Klein is the less interesting of the two as he seems to be a one-man admiration society for the film. Rogers offers up some nice anecdotes that are worth a listen.

Next up are six deleted scenes that were cut due to length (or the fact that, like the rest of the film, they just weren't funny). One nice side note is that in the extended scenes, the cut material is in color while the footage that remained in the film is done in black and white.

Rounding out the extra features is a short Making-of featurette hosted by Orlando Jones (who plays Dig in the film). The theatrical trailer and five TV spots close up the extras section.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Ultimately Say It Isn't So! isn't even worth a rental. Maybe a free rental. The video and audio portions of this Fox DVD are nice, as are the extras, but the film is not.

 


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