Strangers With Candy

Smirky, gum-in-your-hair humor dominates this dreadful 2005 feature, a big-screen version of the Comedy Central series. Amy Sedaris sports a dime-store wig and buck teeth as Jerri Blank, a middle-aged ex-con who returns to her hometown and reenrolls in high school in hopes of healing her psychic wounds and making peace with her father (who's in a coma and mighty peaceable already). Stephen Colbert has some choice moments as a creationist science teacher, Gregory Hollimon is memorable as the strutting principal, and the cast is heavy with slumming A-listers (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Allison Janney, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ian Holm). But the gags all seem premised on a couch potato's easy contempt for the poor, the incarcerated, and the homosexual (or any combination thereof), which makes this sour candy indeed. Paul Dinello directed. R, 87 min.

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