Strangers With Candy

Oh my.

We have a new contender for – the most disappointing movie of all time.

Hitting theaters with a falling corpse-like thud this July, Strangers With Candy is absolutely the worst collection of moving images to tarnish the silver screen in recent memory.

Up there with the post-Han Solo Star Wars franchise in terms of embarrassment, lameness and the “D” word (disappointment), Strangers With Candy should be avoided at all costs.

Actually, let’s not beat around the proverbial bush.

If you’re reading this, and if you have any desire to see this movie (like, you were a fan of the show), please take the $8 that you were going to waste on it and donate the money to charity instead. Or buy a six-pack. Or a used CD. Or even a used copy of the original Strangers series on DVD to give to a loved one. Something. Anything. Just don’t pay to go see this movie.

Really, it’s that bad.

Re-hashing every joke and basic plotline from the original Comedy Central television series, the film version of Strangers is tedious, un-original, oh-so-poorly scripted, poorly shot, poorly lit, poorly acted, boring and, quite simply, pathetic.

Any hopes that were held before the reel began to roll were dashed the second that the lights went down and the boredom and embarrassment began to flicker.

As the character of Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris) is introduced to the viewer, via a montage of prison scenes that look like something out of a 2 a.m. USA-network girls-in-prison “movie,” my heart instantly sank. I even think that I stopped chewing on my Red Vines.

With a voice-over that is supposed to be ironic and humorous, but is merely contrived and listless, we see Jerri. The 46-year-old ex-junkie, soon-to-be ex-convict who, upon making a return back to the “real world,” decides that the only thing for her to do is re-enroll in high school.

Her father is in a stress-induced coma. Her stepmother is cheating on her father. She doesn’t have any life skills. So she goes back to high school.

Granted, it’s a lame (and kind of weird) premise. But it worked in the TV show because the plotlines were odd and kooky, the dialogue was crisp, and the interaction between Jerri, her teachers and her inane classmates was often hilarious.

But on screen? With a cast that looks like it is drugged, a script that appears to have been crapped out and a complete lack of cinematic technique? Yeah, not so much.

Now, perhaps if this “movie” had been made in an hour, shot in Sedaris’ home when she and Stephen Colbert were drunk, had been given to friends, and then had leaked out to the public, it would be understandable.

But the fact that a cast as talented as Sedaris, Colbert, Matthew Broderick, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ian Holm, Allison Janney and Justin Theroux spent their time working and “acting” in this movie, that David Letterman backed it, and that money was actually spent making and promoting it, is an undeniable travesty.

And the simple fact that Colbert and Sedaris worked on it, wrote it and pushed for it to be made is unthinkable.

Moreover, Strangers With Candy now rivals Run Ronnie Run! as the single-worst TV show + money + bad script = really, really bad movie incarnation of all time.

Just how bad is it?

I think I laughed once.

There’s a classic one-liner from Jerri, when she asks a red-haired girl sitting next to her in the principal’s office if the girl’s “carpet matches the drapes?”

But that’s it.

And in all honesty, sitting through the film was so unbearable that I walked out. I actually chose to go to work rather than watch a movie (keep in mind: normally, this would be complete heresy).

I’m glad I did though.

Another minute spent watching supremely talented people like Sedaris and Colbert struggle for air would have been death.

That and wondering how in the world grief counselor Peggy Callas (Sarah Jessica Parker) became so – bronzed.