Fast-Paised review: 'Strangers with Candy'

EntertainmentFashion ShowsAmy SedarisStephen ColbertTelevisionMatthew BroderickMusic Industry

Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert fashion a feature-length prequel to their TV show, as middle-aged Jerri Blank (Sedaris) returns to high school and tries to win a science fair--thinking her success might jolt her father from a coma.

Big question: Can the presence of Colbert, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman and more entice new fans to the long-canceled Comedy Central series?

Catch it: Much of "Strangers with Candy" has the spontaneous inanity of improv and sketch comedy, with a decent enough plot fashioned around funny bits like a faculty steam room and girls running with the bulls in gym class. I haven't seen much of the show but imagine that if you crack up at the small-screen version--or the heavy irony of "The Colbert Report"--this candy's your bag.

Skip it: If you're too adult to appreciate the value of a family food fight at the dinner table. A flying chicken breast communicates more than words ever can.

Bottom line: Though it loses steam a bit towards the middle, "Strangers with Candy" displays affection for all of its characters, even when making it painfully clear just how pathetic and stupid they are. It's a deliciously quirky, laugh-out-loud pleasure for anyone with a taste for the absurd.

Bonus: If you ever say this to yourself, consider seeking help: "Not now, brain. I'm trying to think!"

Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.

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'Strangers with Candy'

Directed by Paul Dinello; screenplay by Stephen Colbert, Dinello and Amy Sedaris; photographed by Oliver Bokelberg; edited by Michael R. Miller; music by Marcelo Zarvos; production design by Teresa Mastropierro; produced by Mark Roberts, Lorena David and Valerie Schaer Nathanson. A Think Film release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:27. MPAA rating: R (for sexual content, language and some drug material)..

Jerri Blank - Amy Sedaris

Sara Blank - Deborah Rush

Megawatti Sacarnaputri - Carlo Alban

Tammi Littlenut - Maria Thayer

Chuck Noblet - Stephen Colbert

Roger Beekman - Matthew Broderick

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EntertainmentFashion ShowsAmy SedarisStephen ColbertTelevisionMatthew BroderickMusic Industry
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