Sunday, April 11, 2010


I like Bill Maher. I watch his show frequently, find him an interesting debater and tend to agree with a lot of what he says. But his Michael Moore-like “investigation” into religion, “Religulous” just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t the material. It was Maher – he’s on his own personal jihad. While trying to expose religious fanaticism, Maher comes across as one of them, just from the opposite side of the fence. He is as dogmatic is his disbelief as they are in their faith. “Religulous” would have been a lot more successful if Maher were a bit more playful with his subjects and gave them the rope to hang themselves. This is something “The Daily Show” does quite well and what Bill Maher fails at miserably here. Maher seems content to argue rather than interview and then dismiss his subjects as “silly” or “ridiculous.” This is a manifestation of one of the things that bugs me about his stand-up. When Maher delivers the punch line, he tends to turn to the camera with a knowing expression as if to say, “See, I’m funny.” And in “Religulous” that smugness doesn’t serve him well. I’ll agree that there are a lot of deluded people out there, and that a lot of people, evil and otherwise, have doesn’t awful things in the name of religion. But there are many more people who find comfort and peace in their faith. I’m not sure what Maher’s intention was when he created this film. But he pretty much ends up delivering a long, boring sermon. My Tweet: Religulous-Bill Maher goes looking for God in this comic documentary and commits the ultimate sin – he's not funny. 4.5 (out of 10)


Released: 2008

Rating: R

Length: 101 minutes

Cast: Bill Maher

Director: Larry Charles

Genre(s): Documentary

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