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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

God Said, "Ha!"
Directed by Julia Sweeney
Miramax 02/99 DVD/VHS Documentary
PG-13 - thematic elements, some drug references

Moshe Waldoks has stated: "A sense of humor can help you overlook the unattractive, tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, and smile through the unbearable." In this one-woman show, which ran on Broadway and in Los Angeles, Julia Sweeney, the gifted comedian of "Saturday Night Live" fame, shares what happened to her when she went to live in a Hollywood bungalow after a divorce.

Her brother Michael was diagnosed with terminal cancer and came to live with her. Then her parents arrived to help. Julia's cat was so upset that he moved in with a neighbor next door. Her mother tried to control everything while her father spent most of his time listening to NPR with headphones. Sweeney is forced to feel like a guilty teenager again sneaking cigarettes and making out with a new boyfriend while her parents are not in the house.

Then, Sweeney is diagnosed with cervical cancer. She and her brother answer the phone, "Hello, the house of cancer." After his death, Sweeney charts some of the surreal aspects of her illness. "At one point the doctors told me they seemed to have lost my ovaries. I go, 'Excuse me? Am I going to like cough one up or something?' "

Sweeney proves that humor is a lifesaver in the midst of pain, suffering, and setbacks. God said, 'Ha!' is an emotionally affecting film filled with great humanity and humor.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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