Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic
Not just any comic can pull off blue humor in a slinky red dress. ”Earlier today, I had gas…. But I took some Gas-X and I feel better,” purrs Sarah Silverman behind the scenes of her freewheeling stage show. It all goes downhill (or uphill, depending on your brand of humor) from there: deboned Ethiopian babies, Barbie-doll vaginas, Martin Luther King’s love of farts. What separates Silverman from fellow scatological stand-ups is her aw-shucks delivery: Even when her material fails to launch (the live audience just tittering in response), she saves herself with a squinty grin and a shrug. So at her rudest and crudest, she can still seem as fuzzy as the kitten bearing witness to her infamous ”family act” — her (fictional) ”Joe Franklin raped me” bit from The Aristocrats is included here.
But give the girl a guitar, and Jesus Is Magic fizzles. Between wisecracks, Silverman cha-cha-chas and caterwauls her way through tunes straight from the Rent-meets-”Weird Al” Yankovic songbook. Sounds clever in theory, but lyrics like ”There’s a hole in your butt where the doody comes out” are cheap and charmless (but bonus track ”Give the Jew Girl Toys” does earn points for pitting Liam Neeson’s Schindler against Tim Allen’s Santa).
Fitting that a movie so enamored with the butt has a commentary full of butt-kissing. Director Liam Lynch fawns over Silverman, pointing out bits that ”after the eight-millionth viewing, I still love.” All the sweet talk gets stale by the end — if only they made Gas-X for bloated praise.