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Release: 2001, 20th Century Fox
Starring: Heather Graham, Chris Klein, Orlando Jones, Sally Field
Director: James B. Rogers
MPAA Rating: [R] language, sexuality
Genre: Comedy

When Gilly Noble (Klein) meets Jo Wingfield (Graham), it's love at first sight. But the happy couple's relationship hits a brick wall when they find out they're brother and sister.

What's Good
funny, outrageous premise
comical performance from Orlando Jones in a supporting role
Farrelly Brothers-esque comedy that's often politically incorrect
hilarious twist ending

What's Bad
some of the jokes get tiresome
highly formulaic, predictable script
forgettable characters

Reviewer: Andrew Manning (02/01)

While it has its moments, Say It Isn't So is a fairly pedestrian movie that probably won't make your Must See list unless you're a hardcore Heather Graham fan. When Gilly Noble (Chris Klein) finds out that the girl of his dreams, Jo Wingfield (Heather Graham), is really his sister, the happy couple gets a one-way ticket to Splitsville. A distraught Jo leaves to begin a new life elsewhere, while a heartbroken Gilly remains in his hometown. But in short order, the real truth is revealed: Gilly and Jo, in fact, aren't siblings. So Gilly goes on a quest to find his beloved, determined to tell her the truth and win her back. But he's in a race against time, of course, because Jo is about to get married to another guy.

The result is a largely predictable movie with a handful of bright spots and some amicable characters. Chris Klein comes across as a likable enough guy, if only because he's too boring to be offensive or despicable, and Heather Graham is quickly established as the well-meaning girl next door, despite being somewhat ditzy. Unfortunately, she displays all the acting prowess of her role in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and seems capable of only two expressions: compassionate with a sweet smile, and happy with a sweet smile. Meanwhile, most of the supporting cast is forgettable thanks to the lack of interesting writing. For example, comedienne Sarah Silverman's great, irreverent sense of humor is wasted in a mostly muted bit part.

The initial premise and all the sister-f***ing jokes that come with it are good for a few laughs, but the whole things gets old after a while. The movie is even more redundant after the truth is revealed, as the same incest jokes relentlessly persist, even though we know they're not true.

Thankfully, Orlando Jones breaks up the monotony as a legless sidekick who can't seem to get his heritage straight. The ensuing prosthetic limb gags, combined with the incestuous laughs and a hilarious demonstration of what can go wrong when you punch a cow in the butt, give the movie a decidedly Farrelly Brothers-esque sense of humor (which isn't surprising, considering that the delightfully distasteful duo produced the movie). As with There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself and Irene, and Kingpin, the comedy is crude, the animal are abused, and the romance is shamelessly sappy and predictable. These elements could be highlights if you're into such antics, but they ultimately exemplify the movie's lack of originality.

Say It Isn't So has at least one moment of comedic brilliance when it ends with a hilarious twist. I won't discuss it here, though, since the unexpected revelation is most of the upside.

While the most devoted of Heather Graham fans will appreciate the considerable bounce she brings to the movie, everyone else will find themselves with a middle-of-the-road film. It's an entertaining enough romantic comedy for the younger set, to be sure, but chances are, you won't remember much about it after the final credits have rolled.

Rating: 5 out of 10 (0=Abysmal, 5=Average, 10=Excellent)

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