Ohne Worte (2001)

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Ohne Worte: Directed by J.B. Rogers. With Chris Klein, Heather Graham, Orlando Jones, Sally Field. Jo and Gilly date. They find out they’re brother and sister. Jo moves away. Gilly finds out that he’s not Jo’s brother and that Jo’s getting married. Can he stop the wedding in time?

“Itu0026#39;s a world of closets filled with pantsuits that reek of stale flatulation; of unlovely middle-aged guys with Skittle-sized warts and erratically gapped sets of teeth; of post-menopausal ladies in Midwestern pastel parkas who are themselves a symphony of eye-crossing odors; of bandaged banged-up ears and store-bought vocoders for stroke victims and bugeyed cripples who look no better falling down than standing up. It is, to quote Devo, u0026quot;a beautiful world! For you! For you! Not ME!u0026quot;u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eInto this ironic Shrinersu0026#39; Parade of Middle American ugliness–the true warts-and-all U.S. not seen in a cinema that spends most of its time on Manhattanu0026#39;s mean streets and in Beverly Hills High–a tiny flashlight of adolescent sweetness longs to shine. Itu0026#39;s the true-blue, high-school-sweetheart brand of love that the Farrelly Brothers interpose as contrast to their fat-guy-in-a-Dacron-shirt cosmos. This is what gives the Farrellysu0026#39; movies a tender/hysterical tone that recalls the alternations between beachside passivity and horrific violence in the movies of Beat Takeshi. It is their signature structure.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSAY IT ISNu0026#39;T SO is not one of their own–itu0026#39;s jobbed-out to some writer friends of the brothers, who have done a serviceable impersonation of the grotesqueries of the Farrellys. SAY IT is a programmer–it feels like a B movie, a bottom-half-of-the-double-biller, which is a nice, unusual feeling in this day and age (where genuinely B material is given a Big Movie importance). Chris Klein is the orphan longing to find his mom, and Heather Graham is the hopelessly inept hair stylist who loves him; DNA tests and stamped documents prove it after they have consummated their love–theyu0026#39;re brother and sister. But incest is the least of this movieu0026#39;s concerns. The filmmakers strain to crank up the Farrelly Machine–which involves a new variant on u0026quot;punching a cow,u0026quot; shoving a paralyzed stroke victimu0026#39;s face into the smelly rump of an ugly truck driver, and a gag involving Sally Fieldu0026#39;s underarms that still makes me gag just thinking about it.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSweetness rules, though: Graham and Klein are ideal as John Mellencampu0026#39;s Jack and Diane. And after sitting through the massaging blandnesses of THE MEXICAN and HEARTBREAKERS, this movieu0026#39;s honest movement toward the emetic is refreshing. It shakes the audience up a little bit, rather than puts them to sleep. SAY IT doesnu0026#39;t approximate the high points of SOMETHING ABOUT MARY or KINGPIN, but its evocation of a world you wonu0026#39;t see on VH-1 stays with you like the smell of grandmau0026#39;s doilies, mothballs, and brick-hard Brachu0026#39;s Candies.”


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