Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic (2005) Movie Review

It really pays to be born a woman with a genotype predestined for phenotypic cuteness; that is, if you are misfortunate enough to have to be born at all. What can’t they get away with saying? Who is going to persecute them? Men? An attractive woman could call almost any man by his racial slur-name and they probably wouldn’t react with offense. Women? Well, they usually have a problem with each other anyways. Hence, “Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic”, an extremely obscene, frontier pushing comedy act by quirkily sexy comedienne Sarah Silverman.

Unlike other stand up films, like say, my personal favorite, Martin Lawrence’s “Runteldat”, where Martin lucidly enacts the sticking of his head into his wife’s v**ina to tell his yet unborn child not to f**k with him, Sarah Silverman mixes live footage from a show in Hollywood with skits and music videos. “Jesus is Magic” is more Tenacious D “The Complete Masterworks” than it is Eddie Murphy’s “Raw”, though this is as raw as it gets.

The film opens with a dry, inwardly sardonic Sarah in her living room with friends who are chronicling their recent successes in the business while her boasts are pure farce. Imitating real life, Ms. Silverman isn’t really a household name. While she’s appeared in “School of Rock” and briefly in “The Aristocrats”, as well as a DVD extra that came with the last Queens of the Stone Age album, she surely has felt the frustrations of verging on “making it” in the whimsically fickle world of Hollywood.

Director Liam Lynch’s influences can be seen in the musical shorts, which are reminiscent of his work on Tenacious D’s videos and skits, and his own annoying but disarming musical ventures. As she leaves her apartment, calling herself a stupid sh*t for lying to her friends about having a show, she breaks into song (with a fair singing voice I may add) about what the star of a show truly needs. And of course, when she looks into the mirror and realizes that she has all of those star qualities, she says she is better than “those three tw*ts combined (Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts)”. And judging by what follows, she most certainly is.

As a stand up comic, Sarah Silverman is not really a teller of jokes. Her style is almost entirely conversational and follows a repeating rhythm. While you know by her pauses and body language when she is going to hit you with the punch lines from one of her stories or offhanded cultural observations, the effect is never diminished and every line seems totally unpredictable. For instance, she talks for two minutes, not without some intelligence and refined vocabulary, on how some people, a half black ex-boyfriend in particular, are born with and foster negative outlooks on life, then she pauses and tells the audience that this boyfriend had gotten mad at her because she told him that he would have made an expensive slave, and she just couldn’t understand why he was unable to let himself accept that remark as a compliment.

Reading that last sentence or two will provoke compulsory laughter to ward off uncomfortable moral feelings, but watching Silverman exchange these radical sentiments with her audience is beyond any good and evil — it is transcendental, almost. She shies away from no subject, and I can honestly say that this is the most brutal comic act I have ever seen. Granted, she uses her cute Jewish girl status as a springboard to lighten any possible censorship she may come up against, but this is some daring sh*t. She talks about angels getting AIDS, she uses every derogatory racial slur and stereotype, sings songs about how elderly people should just die, and thinks of her a**hole as purely decorative, telling people it is a wound from when she was shot.

Those examples are just etching the epidermis of “Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic”, and if you have no hang-ups about laughing at everything you are not supposed to find even remotely funny, then this will become a regular showing at every party you have from now on. Even with lines like, “So I was licking jelly off my boyfriend’s p**is the other day and I thought to myself, ‘I’m becoming just like my mother'”, my girlfriend still loved it.

Liam Lynch (director) / Sarah Silverman (screenplay)
CAST: Sarah Silverman
Brian Posehn
Laura Silverman
Bob Odenkirk
Steve Agee

Buy Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic on DVD