Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's not funny - but laugh anyway

There was a documentary produced by the same guy who produced "Borat" that recently went to DVD.

For people in Sarnia, you probably didn't hear much about it because it never got to play in our local theatre. For those of you visiting from outside of Sarnia, you, too, may live in a sheltered community where picking apart irrational beliefs is not allowed or encouraged. The rest of you were lucky enough to have had the opportunity to see it in a theatre (I must admit, I did see it in Toronto in a real theatre and Jesus was larger than life - as is every character that is displayed on a HUGE screen).

The movie I'm talking about is Religulous featuring Bill Maher. Let me first say that Bill Maher isn't funny*. I have seen many of his stand-up routines, watched his two critically-acclaimed shows and seen him on numerous talk shows. What he has to say isn't funny (but laugh anyway!).

This seems like an odd way to start a blog posting that suggests that EVERYONE should watch Religulous but I can explain.

Throughout the movie, Bill Maher interviews a number of believers about their beliefs but adds to the movie some monologues. You will laugh - there are extremely funny parts in the movie (no matter what you believe or don't believe) - but it isn't funny. This isn't a "people laugh at sexist jokes but they aren't funny" kind of not funniness that still gets laughs.

The point that Bill is making in the movie is that we can't simply be laughing - what we are facing is something serious. (I'm not going to give the movie away but I think it is safe to say that it was Jesus in the Library with the candlestick.)

Okay, who am I kidding? The movie is hilarious but the underlying message isn't.

Get to your local movie store and BUY - don't just rent - Religulous today.

(*Let me restate, too, what I said about Bill Maher - he is intelligent and his comedy reflects that. It is funny (and he is funny) but it has a point to it and sometimes the point is not all that funny. I think it is important, however, to use humour in situations as these - at least as a beginning. Then let the discussion begin!)


C Woods said...

I live in a "sheltered" community, too. But I also live 30 miles from a large city where only 2 theaters carried Religulous ---both far from the northern direction where we live. My husband wanted to wait for the DVD, but I insisted we pay money to one of the theaters brave enough to show it. I, too, thought it was hysterically funny ---but oh, so serious ---especially Maher's summation at the end.

Anonymous said...

I agree, very funny film despite Bill Maher's dull sense of humour. In any case, to further illuminate the seriousness of blind religious devotion and zealousness, a good follow up movie would be "Jesus Camp". A movie about religious summer camps geared toward fear induced indoctrination of youngsters. Scary Scary.