Say It Isn't So!

Directed by James B. Rogers
Starring: Heather Graham, Chris Klein, Orlando Jones, Sally Field.
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, crude humor and language.

Review by Matt Heffernan <>
April 3, 2001

I know this review is a little late, considering that Say It Isn't So! came out eleven days ago. During that weekend, I was worried that I didn't have a review for what would probably be a successful film. Of course, as you probably know by now, it was huge bomb that only plummeted further last weekend, when I (regrettably) saw it. I didn't have much company: only two other people in the theatre besides myself, and one of them left after 20 minutes. Oh, how I wish I could have joined her. But, no. I am dedicated to my craft. I was going to sit through this stupid movie even if it managed to drain every single IQ point I had left.

Chris Klein, who desperately wants you to remember him from Election and American Pie, stars as Gilly Noble, a young man who has been working for Animal Control in Indiana since leaving the orphanage where he grew up. He has been searching for his parents for a long time, but his incompetent private investigator always has bad leads -- like Japanese women, for instance.

His search becomes less important when he falls in love with an incompetent hairdresser (I smell a theme!) named Jo (Heather Graham). After six months together, they are engaged, but the wedding is not to be. He is now told that he was born to Jo's parents (Sally Field and Richard Jenkins), and the subsequent scandal drives Jo back to her old boyfriend in Oregon. Gilly lives with "Mom" and "Dad" for a year, but then they are tracked down by their real son, Leon (Jack Plotnick). Gilly goes to Oregon to stop her from marrying, but Jo's Mom phones ahead to foil his plans.

So, most of the "humor" derives from Gilly being mistaken for a pervert who is stalking his own sister. It's a drawn-out farce that takes forever to set up, then finishes predictably, and painfully, after several lame attempts at generating laughter. In my audience of two, they were unsuccessful. I doubt that an audience of 200 would have a much different reaction. Say It Isn't So! is just bad, bad, bad. There's no way around it.

Sure, under the circumstances, it could have been prevented. They had a competent cast going in, including the usually hilarious Orlando Jones as a legless pilot. The premise, as well, is strong enough to support a decent comedy. Peter and Bobby Farrelly even produced the film, but had no hand in the writing or direction -- or at least they're not admitting to it. The film is being advertised as being "from" the guys who "did" There's Something About Mary, but this is nowhere near their quality of work. They have an ability to elevate gross-out humor that the makers of this pale imitation do not have. It mystifies me that the Farrellys actually sat by and let this film happen.

I don't feel like getting into any details on the poor direction and writing, nor do I need to. The market saw this film was crap, and it will be completely flushed away by next weekend.

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Say It Isn't So! (2001)

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Review © 2001 Matt Heffernan