Strangers With Candy

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If you live and die by political correctness, are easily offended and have no sense of humor, you'll want to stop reading this review. Now.
Okay, you were warned, so don't come crying to me when your delicate sensibilities get all roughed-up and trampled on by this movie.
Before its untimely cancellation a few years back, Strangers With Candy was a cult hit television series on the Comedy Channel that starred Amy Sedaris (sister of comedy writer David Sedaris), Paul Dinello (also one of the show's writers, like Amy Sedaris), Stephen Colbert (if you haven't heard of Stephen Colbert by now, I can't even imagine the size of the rock you live under), and others too numerous to mention here, but including cameos from a major star every now and then.
In a nutshell, Strangers With Candy is about ex-con Jerri Blank, "a boozer, a user, and a loser" who decides at the tender age of 46 to leave her sordid life of drug abuse, thievery and prostitution behind and go back to high school in an attempt to start her life over. Jerri returns home to her "family" to find that her father is in a permanent coma while her step-mother is having an on-going affair with the meat man, and her nemesis half-brother is a dim-witted jock aspiring to the school's varsity "squat-thrust" team. At school, her manically egocentric science teacher, Charles "Chuck" Noblet is having a torrid love affair with art teacher Geoffrey "Joffrey" Jellineck. Jerri, meanwhile, throws herself at pretty much anything that moves (including new friend and fellow freshman, Tammi Littlenut), while Principal Onyx Blackman rules over all with the eagle eye and firm resolve that come with his need to manipulate school resources to cover his gambling debts.
Now, I know you must be asking yourself, "But what's the twist, library-man?" I'm so glad you asked. The twist is that Jerri's misadventures are treated like so many of those banal after-school specials you may have been forced to endure while growing up. You know--the ones where the main character learned some kind of poignant lesson or moral at the end of the story? But I'm pretty sure the lessons Jerri Blank learns were never covered by any network television after-school special; network censors would never have allowed it. Strangers With Candy, the movie, is like a 90-minute episode of the show. It may not break new ground, but it doesn't disappoint either. All of the irreverent, rude, crude, and politically-incorrect humor is there, and the cast is in terrific form. The only thing this reviewer was left wanting for was more.
-Will

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This page contains a single entry published on July 25, 2007 8:45 PM.

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