If Say It Isn't So is anything to go by, the label "produced by the Farrelly brothers" will soon become the modern cinematic equivalent of Here Be Dragons signs on ancient maps, or those shrunken heads on spikes in distant jungles: a warning for the unwary to steer well clear. Because this movie bears the distinct whiff of a product scooped from one of the brothers' toilet visits.
And if you snickered at that, this film is aimed directly at you. As the brothers themselves have proved, there's a large audience to be found for bodily function gags and swipes at the disabled. Scriptwriters Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow have certainly found a hook to hang them on, but in their enthusiasm to cram in as many such `funny' moments as possible, it seems they forgot to include anything more than a rudimentary plot.
First-time director JB Rogers doesn't help matters either. If the Farrellys are the Dr Frankensteins of the comedy world, then this is like Igor let loose in the laboratory. In collusion with the writers, he's produced a knock-off Farrelly flick that has none of the gag-team champs' ability to spin a good yarn around the gross point blank laughs. The likes of Kingpin, Dumb & Dumber and There's Something About Mary may be packed with potty puns, but at least they were underpinned by some sort of comi-tragic character-driven plot.
Say It Isn't So, however, just unspools as one gross-out set-piece after another. There's little development beyond the original premise - - and one or two minor chuckles in the first act can't compensate for everything grinding to a halt for the remaining running time.
It's not surprising, then, that there's little for the actors (including Farrelly regulars Richard Jenkins and - - in a microsecond cameo as a mental health counsellor - - Lin Shaye) to work with. Heather Graham coasts through on autopilot as a blonde beauty and Chris Klein spends most of the film looking like he'd rather be off making American Pie 2. Only Orlando Jones manages to do anything more with his character (a double amputee who smokes dope) than stand around reading the script from cue cards and reacting to the `hilarious' events. But even he can't rescue this desperately unfunny lame duck from the depths to which it sinks trying to generate laughs.
So even if you are tempted into the cinema by the lure of that all-important '"From the people who brought you There's Something About Mary'" tag, consider yourself warned: this isn't just Farrelly lite. It's Farrelly shite.