Strangers With Candy Paul Dinello

You either love it or loathe it, but Strangers With Candy is one of the funniest and most slept on televisions shows in recent times. For those not familiar with the tales of 47-year-old ex-drug addict, ex-prostitute and ex-convict Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris), this film might be a good place to start, as it serves as a prequel to the series, with Jerri’s release from prison. When she returns home to a family that barely remembers her, she decides to pick up where she left off and returns to high school in hopes of changing her life around for her father, who slipped into a coma while his daughter was stabbing inmates. Not much has changed for Jerri, as she’s still one of the biggest losers in her class and continues to live up to this reputation, entering a science fair while teachers Geoffrey Jellineck (Paul Dinello) and Chuck Noblet (the mighty Steven Colbert) try to repair their forbidden love affair. Like most television shows that make the leap to the big screen, Strangers With Candy is basically a 90-minute episode that rehashes many of the series’ jokes but doesn’t offer anything new, save Jerri’s grotesque features in widescreen. The film is still remarkably funny and guest appearances from Sir Ian Holm, Matthew Broderick and Philip Seymour Hoffman add to the value. The DVD features a good commentary from Sedaris, Colbert and Dinello humorously talking about the ups and downs of creating an incredibly low-budget film, i.e., shooting that one classroom scene in the parking lot because they couldn’t secure an indoor location. There are also some deleted scenes that are well worth watching. You’re probably better off watching the incredibly offensive television series because the premise of Jerri Blank spending an episode learning absolutely nothing works better in smaller doses, but if you don’t have the patience for the show, then this film is for you. (Th!nk)