God Said 'Ha!' (1998)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Sketch Comedy  |   Release Date - Feb 12, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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It seemed a risky gamble to adapt Julia Sweeney's tragicomic one-woman show to a cinematic setting (and have Sweeney direct it as well), but it's one that pays off wonderfully. The film lets her choice words speak for themselves as it utilizes an interesting visual technique to prevent it from becoming too stagebound. Her tale of a rocky road to recovery for both her and her brother following their untimely cancer battles is one laden with sadness, but the inventive monologues have a deeper understanding of human fallibility and how humor can be used as a weapon during hard times. The film never feels depressing, or worse yet, like a futile exercise in self-important therapy. While never reaching the heights of, say, the best stage work of Richard Pryor or Lily Tomlin -- both of whom have a similar life-experience focus -- God Said Ha! is heartfelt and memorable and the best showcase of Sweeney's talents to date. The film wasn't much more successful than Sweeney's short-lived Broadway run, but has come to enjoy a following all its own. Incidentally, God was produced by good friend Quentin Tarantino, who urged Sweeney to create her own big-screen vehicle.