Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic

CHICK WIT Silverman slings the sass.
CHICK WIT Silverman slings the sass.

Time Out says

Sarah Silverman spews utterly offensive bile from behind the most sweetly guileless smile. Laughing at her kind of humor isn't hard, especially when such pipe bombs—racial, sexual or otherwise—come from the mouths of babes, or rather, a babe; give Silverman 30 more years, and she'll be just as off-putting as Joan Rivers. But for now, the joke's squarely on her adorably Jappy, ditzy self. (Her contribution to this summer's The Aristocrats was a minimasterpiece of self-delusion.)

Jesus Is Magic delivers Silverman's stand-up act on a really good night, one filled with lots of uncomfortable laughs that deepen into rolling, appreciative ones. Her topics include the obvious targets for squirm-producing barbs: September 11 ("beyond devastating...especially for me, because it was the same day I found out the soy chai latte was, like, 900 calories"), the prospect of raising kids with her Catholic boyfriend ("Mommy is one of the Chosen People, Daddy believes that Jesus is...magic!") and disease ("When God gives you AIDS—and God does give you AIDS—make lemonAIDS!").

It's sharp, callous stuff, lacking the furious conviction of a George Carlin but winning just the same. Still, Silverman's skin-deep persona can stretch pretty thin. Normally, that would make this film's brief running time a boon, but its flow has been interrupted by several slickly produced skits and a music video that all but suck the air out of the theater. Silverman needs a live crowd—half-shocked, half-rocked—to turn her on.—Joshua Rothkopf



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