Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 11:18 am | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 

Cinema in Focus: ‘Thou Shalt Laugh’ and ‘Thou Shalt Laugh II (The Deuce)’

Pair of films provides good clean fun — and plenty of laughs.

2 Stars — Entertaining

Very different from the films we usually review are the two films titled Thou Shalt Laugh  and Thou Shalt Laugh II (The Deuce). Both are presentations of a comedy show, and both films are set within the Christian community and filmed at Faith Community Church in Los Angeles.

Spotlighting comics whose humor is both understandable by and understanding of the Christian community, both films provide an enjoyable and entertaining experience. One of the weaknesses in the first film was the writing for the host, Patricia Heaton, but this was remedied in the sequel by having the inimitable Tim Conway  host the show with his usual dead-pan humor.

In the second film there are two comics who return, arguably the best of the show: Taylor Mason  and Thor Ramsey. Added to these veterans are Victoria Jackson  of Saturday Night Live  fame; Dan Nainan, who uses his own biracial experiences as the son of a Japanese mother and an Indian father to poke fun at racial stereotypes; and the last is Bone Hampton, an African-American performer.

Although the humor is set in a church, the humor is not primarily focused around the Christian faith. When faith or God is part of the humor, there is a tension that is almost always experienced when such humor is attempted. For the most part, even this humor works.

For those who enjoy clean comedy, this film will not disappoint.

Cinema In Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church  on the Mesa. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com.

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