MRR Movie Review: Say It Isn't So

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In this wacky spin on the boy-meets-girl tale, Gilly Noble (Chris Klein) enters a sexually charged, passionate love affair with girl of his dreams Jo Wingfield (Heather Graham). After a happy time together, they soon realize that they are brother and sister and quickly break it off. Jo begins a new life and Gilly is left heartbroken -- until he learns that Jo is not actually his sister. As Gilly travels to meet up with his beloved, he finds out that Jo is engaged to be married to another man; he must put a stop to it, even while everyone still believes he is Jo's sibling.
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Movie Review: "Say It Isn't So"

-- Rating: R
Length: 95 minutes
Release date: Mar. 23, 2001
Directed by: J.B. Rogers
Genre: Comedy / Romance

Love is a complicated thing that doesn't always conform to societal standards. "Say It Isn't So" explores a love that is genuine and complete until a heinous truth breaks the couple apart. Once that information is found to be fabricated, the movie shows that getting that genuine love back is often a work of back-breaking proportions. This romantic comedy takes some of the most taboo subjects and makes them a part of everyday life for characters that only want to be in love and left alone. However, the community and their family beg to differ.

"Say It Isn't So" follows Gilly (Chris Klein) as he finds and forms a deep relationship with Jo (Heather Graham). The two form an intimate relationship that seems unbreakable until they learn that Gilly and Jo are biological siblings. The news is plausible, because Gilly is an orphan who knows very little about his background. The lovers, disgusted, separate to find new lives on their own.

Years later, Gilly is a loser who still can't get over the relationship. The story of the two siblings made national news, so he can't even escape the stigma of what he once did. Taking what life throws at him becomes Gilly's routine until he finds out that the he is not related to Jo. In fact, the information was planted by someone who wanted the two of them to separate. It was successful, but Gilly never stopped loving Jo. He goes out in search of her, quickly learning that she is going to be married very soon.

Gilly's soul is revived, but his journey is stymied at every turn by people trying to "do the right thing" and keep him from restarting an incestuous relationship with Jo. The nation saw the news of the incest years ago, but not everyone is willing to hear the new evidence that proves Gilly and Jo should be together. Gilly's road back to true love is fraught with obstacles that threaten his body and his newly-revived self-esteem. He must find Jo before she becomes someone else's bride.

J.B. Rogers directs a wacky tale that leaves no taboo or raunchy joke unturned. He portrays Gilly as a downtrodden man who must find his manhood in order to gather the strength to get to his love. He paints Jo as the naive girl who has moved on from a public embarrassment and is now a beloved public figure that many people will go to great lengths to protect. Along the way to one another, Gilly finds that money is the root of his problems as well. Jo is set to marry a rich man who will take care of her and the gold-digging parents at the root of Gilly's troubles.

There are several lessons to be learned in this story, but the silliness gets in the way, with many laughs throughout the ninety-five minute film. Rogers casts a slew of comedic talents to help the story along, as Klein does come across as too pathetic for words at times. Orlando Jones, Sally Field, and John Rothman keep the laughs coming.

Despite the taboo subjects, "Say It Isn't So" is a comedy for comedy's sake. There are no lessons to be learned in the story. On the other hand, audiences will flock to this film because it has the crazy plots and wacky dialogue similar to a Farrelly Brothers (Peter and Bobby) movie.

The reason for the resemblance is warranted. Rogers is a Farrelly protégé, so this film will loosely resemble the comedic formula used to create such films as "Stuck on You," "Dumb and Dumber," and "There's Something about Mary." The never-could-happen-in-real-life situations come together with clever, funny dialogue and brilliantly scripted situations to create a comedy that audiences will come back to for a laugh time after time.

"Say It Isn't So" is an impossible love story that will keep audience laughing and rooting for the tragic couple even through the most complex portions of their love story. It is well worth the laughs, which don't stop coming from the beginning of the film until the very end. Audiences will leave with memories of jokes that still bring chuckles long after the movie has ended.

Rated 2 out of 5 stars