[box cover]

Jane White Is Sick and Twisted

In Network, aging newsman Max (William Holden) condemns rabid TV executive Diana (Faye Dunaway) as "television incarnate" — ratings-obsessed and emotionally shallow, all she cares about is getting a 50 share. Fair enough, but she ain't got nothing on Jane White. Ditsy, determined, and completely delusional, the perky heroine of hit-and-miss cult favorite hopeful Jane White Is Sick and Twisted could rightly be named the patron saint of couch potatoes. So tube-focused that she's fooled herself into believing that Jerry Springer-esque talk show host Gerry King (David Lander) is her long-lost father, Jane is prepared to do anything to get on his show, whether it's posing as a closet transvestite prostitute or hunting aliens in the desert. The gimmick is that everything in Jane's life, from the theme song she sings in her head to the magical remote control she carries everywhere, has to do with television — even the people who populate her world. The supporting cast is a veritable who's who of has-been (and, in some cases never-quite-been) TV stars: Saved By the Bell's Dustin Diamond, The Wonder Years' Danica McKellar, and The Brady Bunch's Maureen McCormick are just a few of the familiar faces who pop up on screen. (It's safe to say that if you can name all three of those actors' character names off the top of your head, you'll probably get a kick out of this movie. If not — change the channel.) Meatier roles go to Colin Mochrie of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation"'s Wil Wheaton. The underrated Mochrie steals all of his scenes as a good-hearted john who hires Jane during one of her escapades; fans of the mild-mannered Canadian will love seeing him decked out in leather fetish wear. Ultimately, though, Jane White is less a movie than a string of pop culture references filmed on sets that look like they cost less than it takes to produce one episode of "Family Feud." It's definitely twisted, and it's at least a little sick, but Jane White probably is destined to have a shelf-life only slightly longer than last week's TV Guide. Not that such deterred the filmmakers from packing their DVD full of special features: Give the disc a spin to find three trailers, cast filmographies, still photos, games (play TV reference trivia and/or the Jane White drinking game!), interviews, 11 minutes of deleted scenes, a "making-of" featurette, behind-the-scenes footage, and a chatty, jokey audio commentary by Little, co-star Chris Hardwick, and writer/director David Michael Latt. The extras help make up for the lackluster audio and video presentation — the full-frame transfer makes the film look like it was shot on videotape in less than two weeks (wait a minute...it was!), and the monaural DD audio is merely adequate. Spanish subtitles. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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