Saturday, August 12, 2006

Strangers With Candy

When I saw in the paper yesterday that this was the Art/Independent picture of the week at Brook Highland I jumped for joy. Too bad the movie didn't live up to expectations. There's nothing wrong with it, per se, but if you've seen the show you've seen the movie. Jeri is still Jeri, Noblet is still Noblet, Blackman is still Blackman, and so on. The jokes were the same (though still enough to make me laugh), the plot is basically the first season boiled down to 90 minutes. Jeri gets out of jail after 30 years of depravity, returns home to find her father in a coma and with a new family, and decides to start her life over right where she left off in high school. There's nothing new here, except maybe the role of the comatose father being played by Dan Hedaya. An attempt at freshness was provided by cameos from Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Allison Janney as school board members and Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker as teachers, but none of them were really around long enough to do anything and were wasted. If you want to make a movie out of a TV show, it has to either be a continuation of the series or a fresh retelling, and this was neither. Too bad.

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