This shrill corrective to the truism that there are no good roles for females in Hollywood is set in a strange alternate-universe New York City, where men are constantly discussed but rarely seen—and absolutely never heard. It starts like the worst barroom joke ever: An embittered woman (Anne Heche), her yeast-infected best friend (Marcia DeBonis) and a sex addict named Clementine (Arrested Development’s Shawkat) walk into a coffeeshop. Heche’s grumpy dumpee is supposed to spend the day helping her naive pal get ready for a big date. But a chance encounter with the überhorny Clementine—fresh from being kicked out of her apartment by an unsympathetic boyfriend—sends the threesome careening off course into a day of crying, bickering, masturbating and getting inadvertently dry-humped by septuagenarians in public restrooms.
It’s nice to see women, particularly ones as talented as the aforementioned trio, take center stage in a comedy; it’s frustrating, however, when all they get to do is complain about guys who are totally absent from the film (there are no male speaking parts). All of the arguments and fights aim to push the characters to the breaking point, where, as DeBonis’s character says, they might face their misery and own their bullshit. A noble goal, but That’s What She Said’s overload of self-loathing is apt to break the audience’s spirit first.
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