Scott Marks 3:30 p.m., Dec. 24
Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic
This video concert film, directed by Liam Lynch, gives the moviegoer a ticket to the titular comic's stand-up routine, or one-woman off-Broadway show if you prefer. The coy prologue and epilogue with two other actors, and the intermittent cutaways for illustrational fantasies and flashbacks (with costume changes and hair re-dos), do not make the stage act into much more of a film. If it has little interest as cinema, however, it has plenty of it as comedy. The self-described "sassy and brassy" comedian, one of the less illuminating participants in The Aristocrats, proves herself fearless, reckless, heedless, and utterly un-PC in pursuit of her limited goals, extracting laughs, extinguishing illumination. "The best time to have a baby is when you're a black teenager." "By 'retarded' I mean 'they can do anything'." "When God gives you AIDS — and God does give you AIDS, by the way — make lemonAIDS." And so on. Naughty, yes. Dirty, yes. Yet she's an adept actress insofar as her deadpan proclaims a certain innocence, while the malicious gleam in her eye belies it. She is also, for her purposes, an adept writer. Through her sudden, unsettling changes in perspective and scale (e.g., 9/11 was doubly "devastating" for her, personally, not just in watching the Towers go down but in finding out just beforehand the number of calories in her daily latte), you never quite know where you stand with her. It's best to be sitting down. 2005.
- Rated NR