Jesus is Magic

In 2001, Asian-American activists were outraged when comedian Sarah Silverman uttered a racial slur on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. They labeled her racist. And they completely missed the point. Yes, Silverman said "Chink" on air, but if they knew anything about her, they would know that her comedy consists of skewering stereotypes and preconceptions by taking them as far as they can go. Kind of like what Margaret Cho does with sex. She is foul-mouthed, profane, and very funny. Silverman also is extremely attractive, which makes the garbage coming out of her mouth seem all the more strange. As a comedian, she is very effective, and Jesus is Magic is not for those who are easily offended.

Silverman (The School of Rock, Run Ronnie Run) is effective because she mocks everybody. Nobody is safe. Blacks, Asians, Muslims, gays, and Jews are all fair game. Silverman also takes the time to mock herself extensively. All of it comes from her delivery. She is rarely over the top. Instead, she gives out observation humor in a calm, almost methodical manner. The filth and profanity stream out of her mouth in this fashion too. Again, the matter-of-fact manner in which she speaks contrasts with what she is saying. The effect is good. It makes her sound like bigotry is the most ordinary thing in the world. She also makes things look really easy. It takes brains to connect so many things together, make them flow, and then manage to insult them all cleverly. It's much more effort than something like The Aristocrats, which was funny, but is the grossest thing somebody can think of.

As good a comedian as Silverman is, Jesus is Magic is not a great movie. For one, it is extremely short, and still feels padded. Director Liam Lynch segues into some fantasy segments, where Silverman can perform short skits or songs. Aside from a hilariously prejudiced song that rails against nearly every minority possible, most of these skits are not up to par. Some of the other things are surprisingly lame. The goal was to spice up the movie, but they actually drag it down. Jesus is Magic looks best when Silverman is in her element; on stage.

Mongoose Rates It: Not Bad.
1 hour, 12 minutes, Not Rated but contains much offensive language, probably an R, possibly an NC-17 but unlikely.

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