Roger M. Wilcox's review of

Say It Isn't So!

(First posted to Bad Movie Night in 2002.)

Let me begin by saying that I love Shallow Hal. It was the first Farrelly Brothers movie I ever saw, and I am convinced that it is the best movie of this millennium. (Of course, at the time I'm writing this, "this millennium" is less than 2 years old, so Shallow Hal doesn't exactly have much competition. But still.) I loved it so much I went back and watched — with some trepidation, mind you — the Farrellys' earlier work.

There's Something About Mary was all right, I suppose. Me, Myself, and Irene was kinda cute, considering that it was little more than a remake of The Mask.

But Say It Isn't So! was downright PAINFUL to watch.

And this shouldn't be too surprising. Apparently, the Farrelys didn't actually produce, write, direct, or so much as breathe in the direction of, this movie. Instead, the studio execs convinced them to put their names on this film after it was done so that moviegoers knew to expect lots of gross-out humor.

The story, such as it is, goes like this: Orphaned dog catcher in hick town gets his ear cut off by Heather Graham, and so naturally falls in love with her. For some unfathomable reason, Heather Graham falls in love with him, too. After a few months of doing the horizontal lambada together, they decide to get married. Just then, a bumbling private investigator (even more bumbling than his counterpart in There's Something About Mary) announces to the dog catcher that he's "110% sure" that his biological mother is none other than Heather Graham's mom (played by Sally "Norma Rae" Field). Which means the dog catcher has been doing the horizontal lambada all this time with his own sister. "Turning this town into a sisterfuckeria" jokes ensue.

A year later, the dog catcher discovers that the bumbling private investigator has, indeed, bumbled, and Heather Graham's mom is NOT in fact his own mom. Unfortunately, by this time Heather Graham is now engaged to a rich jerk and her mom is determined to have Heather marry into money, so ol' Norma Rae does everything in her power to keep the dog catcher from reuniting with Heather. Along the way, the dog catcher runs into the guy from the 7-Up commercials, Norma Rae's husband gets bees to swarm all over him, rednecks chase after the dog cathcer, and we get a look at beautiful downtown Beaver, Oregon. (Note: There really is a town called "Beaverton" in Oregon, but I guess that just wasn't crass enough for the scriptwriters' taste.)

Naturally, true love wins out in the end, thus thwarting the plans of Norma Rae, Rich Jerk, and every redneck in town. And at last, it turns out that the dog catcher's real biological mother is Suzanne Sommers, whose pin-up poster said dog catcher has whacked off to in the past. Hilarity ensues.

The thing that was so painful about this film was all the unbelievable crap the candy-assed hero has to put up with along the way. The viewer is supposed to identify with the hero. The only way anyone could identify with this hero were if he were repeatedly crushed under a steam roller every day of his life while everyone in town laughed at him. This movie is certainly no Shallow Hal. Ah, Shallow Hal. Now that was a movie. Mmmmmmm, Shallow Hal. I love Shallow Hal. I want to marry it.

Did I mention that I prefer Shallow Hal?

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