Our second Sundance film pick was That’s What She Said. Its description made it sound like a funny chick flick, but, boy, were we in for a surprise!
We arrived at the beautiful Salt Lake City Library after a scary confrontation with a parking garage attendant. We managed to get into the film quickly, which started out with a pretty cool credits intro. During the intro, we meet Dee Dee (Anne Heche), a bitter and angry woman who seems to think the world is out to get her. Her best friend, Bebe (Marcia DeBonis), is a study in opposites, a naive optimistic woman with a big heart.
After crawling out of bed after an all-night bender, Dee Dee meets up with Bebe at the Lucky Joe’s cafe. There, Bebe has started comforting a complete stranger, Clementine (Alia Shawkat). Clementine’s boyfriend has recently dumped her. From this scene on, a strange fate continues to bring these three women together.
It turns out that Clementine is a raging sex addict, to the point that her nervous activities involve her doing some rather… ahem… questionable activities in public restrooms (and on the train). Yes, this is a raunchy film, something that makes American Pie seem like Sunday school. From Dee Dee’s explicit language to Bebe’s yeast infecton (yeah, it goes there), this is the female equivalent of the dirty talking male comedy that we have seen so much of.
Anne Heche pulls a very good comedic turn here as the spurned woman who wants the world to be miserable with her. This is nicely complimented by DeBonis’ portrayal of the more innocent Bebe. Add Shawkat’s wonderful quirkiness to the mix, and you have a solid cast.
That’s What She Said doesn’t hold back either. But the good news is that the raunch is also extremely funny. I dare anyone who has seen this movie not to laugh everytime they hear someone referring to the penal code. I double dog dare you. Some of the scenes, including the one preceding what I just mentioned, will leave you shocked and yet roaring with laughter. That’s why this movie works: it is freaking hilarious.
Obviously, this film is not for the faint of heart. Or children. If you are easily offended, you don’t want to see this. But if you like your jokes dirty and your characters brash, you’ll dig this one.
At the end of the screening at Sundance, we were asked to vote for the movie. I gave it a solid four stars (out of four). It’s about time we women got to have some naughty laughs, too.