Sarah Silverman is a woman who looks sweet, but she really has quite a foul mouth. Her stand-up comedy film Jesus Is Magic showcases her latest material of the political incorrectness she is known for. Well, I should mention that I haven’t been acquainted with her performances so far. I do, however, know about stand-up comedy from other comedians I’m familiar with. I know enough to be able to judge good stand-up from mediocre stand-up and awful stand-up. For reasons I will explain later, her performance in this film wavers in the mediocre range and gets somewhat good only in brief moments.
She covers a variety of topics that are mostly sensitive and does not hesitate to offend a lot of people. They include 9/11, the Holocaust, ethnic groups, and sexual topics. I wish the list could be a bit longer, but the problem is that the film’s running time is only about an hour and twelve minutes. There’s not a lot of room for much more. As for the jokes that are there, I can say that they’re not bad but not hilarious in a side-splitting way. I will say that the moments where I laughed were when the joke throws out an unexpected surprise or irony at just the right time. I give her credit for that.
But the film is not 100% stand-up. It’s more like 80% stand-up and 20% music and skits. For a film that’s already limited by its 72-minute running time, having the stand-up performances interrupted by skits related to the bits and musical performances by Silverman herself are unnecessary. What’s worse is that I was less amused by the skits. They were almost humorless. The music was forgettable, even though there may have been two songs that were somewhat catchy. But note that I say “somewhat” catchy. I still didn’t care for the music.
Returning to the stand-up itself, there’s still one thing that makes the jokes not as funny as they should be. Her timing is too slow. It’s necessary for comedians to use moments of silence to prepare the audience for the funny line that is coming up. Silverman unfortunately waits a little too long at times. Hence, the reason the performance may be funny, but still mediocre.
The last high point for me was the final scene before the applause from the audience. I liked it just because it was irreverent and unexpected. Still, the end credits had extra material that didn’t made me laugh. This concert film is something that really doesn’t belong on the big screen. Cable, maybe, but even if it were released there, my review of the whole thing would be no different.
Anthony’s Rating: 3/10