God Said, “Ha!” | Chicago Reader

God Said, “Ha!”

Julia Sweeney's film version of her one-woman stage show is a marvel of minimalist filmmaking, far superior to flashier performance movies like Gray's Anatomy. Its cuts and camera angles are deceptively simple, and the footage includes at least one shot where she corrects herself after having misspoken, preserving a sense of spontaneity that's almost undermined by the high production values. When her brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he and their parents moved into the cozy LA bungalow Sweeney had just acquired; her monologue contains astute and funny observations about this return to an all-too-familiar domestic situation, one that's inherently infantilizing. She also speaks candidly of the difficulty of living with a dying family member—a situation no one can afford to be entirely humorless about. Clearly she's done a lot of soul-searching, but some of her quipping is surprisingly one-dimensional: it's funny that her parents call pasta “noodles,” but she seems unaware that the joke cuts both ways. 83 min.

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