God Said, "ha!"

on September 13, 1998 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
   Julia Sweeney's acclaimed one-woman Broadway show has been brought to the screen--executive produced and financed by none other than her longtime pal Quentin Tarantino--with results that are underwhelming. The material deals with two recent tragedies in Sweeney's life: The diagnosis of her brother, Michael, with terminal cancer, and her own almost simultan- eous bout with cervical cancer.
   It's potentially powerful subject matter, but Sweeney (who's best known for her androgynous character Pat on TV's "Saturday Night Live") doesn't shape it very well, veering awkwardly from ruminations on Michael's blackly humorous attitudes towards his illness to jokes about her parents moving in with her to help her tend to her ill sibling. Unfortunately, Michael and who he was doesn't come across as memorably as Sweeney would no doubt have liked. And her schtick on her parents is for the most part not that incisive. "God Said, `Ha!'" is clearly heartfelt but it's flat.    Starring, directed and written by Julia Sweeney. Produced by Rana Joy Glickman. A Miramax release. Comedy/drama. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some drug references. Running time: 85 min.
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