Directed by JB Rogers. Starring Chris Klein, Heather Graham, Sally Field, Orlando Jones, Richard Jenkins and Eddie Cibrian.

'Say It Isn't So' is essentially a sweet love story told in very bad taste. The tale centres on a small town guy who falls for the girl of his dreams only to find himself the subject of dastardly plots from all sides. He winds up arrested, committed and subjected to various humiliating trials in the determined pursuit of his one true sweetheart.

Each twist in this comedy caper is the stuff of tabloid journalism, depicted in suitably loud, surreal colours and in a frequently camp style. It is a credit to the two leads (Klein and Graham) that they manage to balance their performances between the convincingly naive and knowingly amusing.

Sally Field, as the heroine's scheming, trashy mother, heads the support cast of cartoonishly villainous characters with Richard Jenkins as her long-suffering paraplegic husband. Orlando Jones is the hyperverbal, legless sidekick of the unfortunate hero and Eddie Cibrian the wealthy businessman with a well-disguised nasty streak who looks set to get the girl.

The original screenplay is the first produced work of stand-up comics Peter Gaulke and Gerry Swallow. Director JB Rogers' particular take on the romantic comedy/road movie genre is evidently heavily influenced by his own previous work on a number of the Farrelly brothers' films. Incest, physical disability and mental illness are just some of the targets in this sometimes highly entertaining but often pointlessly tasteless movie.

Unlike some of its obvious comparisons, 'Say It Isn't So' features many set pieces that are disappointingly predictable and, worse, often totally unfunny. The whole thing suffers from an uneven tone, with many of the attempts at irony falling spectacularly flat. The end result is a film that manages to hit the mark from time to time but ultimately gets carried away with the notion that what is crude is automatically hilarious.

Siobhán Mannion