Strangers with Candy
Director: Paul Dinello
Writers: Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris
Producers: Mark A. Roberts, Lorena David
Starring: Amy Sedaris, Greg Hollimon, Paul Dinello, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Stephen Colbert, Dan Hedaya
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 97 min
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A Review by Mara Baker
     In my experience, TV shows made into movies have never really had a very good outcome. Dukes of Hazzard, Bewitched, and The Spongebob Squarepants Movie are all testaments to just how god-awful a TV movie can be. Luckily, Strangers with Candy maintains the show's integrity, yet somehow it doesn't satisfy.

      Amy Sedaris (who would be next to unrecognizable in an interview compared to her character in this film) plays Jerri Blank, an ex-junkie fresh out of prison. Jerri, in an attempt to revive her father who's been in a coma for thirty some odd years, decides to pick her life up exactly where she left off: in the clutches of high school. She makes an attempt to fit in with the "popular crowd", and failing at that, to fit in with her stepfamily. When she's faced with more failure, it seems her only resort is to be a part of the science fair, which leads to even more excuses for Amy to jut her bum out and make the characters interacting with her extremely uncomfortable. It's not so much a parody of teen "loser" films, but more a parody of life itself.

In the vein of such comedies as Airplane! or...well, just about any Mel Brooks film, the film maintains a level of surreality that fans of the show are familiar with. Those of you who weren't fans, you won't be lost on the plot, but you may be lost on the humor, at least in its subtler form (some of the jokes are outrageous enough for ANYONE to enjoy).

      The movie is chock full of cameos, seemingly to make up for the movie's very weak screenplay. I never felt as if I was actually watching a movie, just a slightly longer episode of the show (the film was only 90 minutes long). The actors were delightful in a poor script, perhaps because of the wonderful eccentricity of their characters. The set is simple, the effects somewhat mundane. If the movie had a more exciting screenplay, perhaps we would've gotten more of a taste of just what it is the actors and other film crew could've done. However, it felt like that everyone involved simply wanted to get it over and done with.

      Those of you who enjoyed the television series will certainly enjoy this extra taste of candy. Those of you who never watched, or were lost on the show completely may want to skip over this one and opt for a broader comedy such as Little Miss Sunshine. If you're curious, however, you don't have to worry about wasting too much of your time, just your money.

      Strangers, wait for the DVD.

Pres play to watch the trailer

Links: - full cast and crew
Official Site
FLIXSTER PAGE for Strangers with Candy


Mara's Flixster Profile