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Reviews by Dr. Frank Swietek   

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NOTORIOUS C.H.O. 
C 
Producer  Lorene Machado 
Director  Lorene Machado 
Writer  Margaret Cho 
Starring Margaret Cho         
       
Studio  Wellspring Entertainment 
Review  Margaret Cho's first filmed stand-up routine, "I'm the One That I Want," was energetic and frequently amusing. This second installment isn't nearly as satisfactory. It's not that the delivery is any less assured or the live audience any less enthusiastic; it's merely that the material is inferior. The previous film was basically autobiographical, putting a funny spin on Cho's home life and the vicissitudes of her career. Virtually every anecdote Cho relates this time around, on the other hand, is not only sexual but gross; and while there's nothing wrong with good raunchiness, the stuff related here tries to get laughs in the cheapest possible way, pretty much through shock value alone. The level of comic invention is surprisingly low, and the resultant amusement spotty at best.

In fact, the best part of "Notorious C.H.O." is a cartoon preceding the picture; the language is more than a little rough, but it's funny because it centers on the comedienne's hilarious takeoff on her own mother. Why she doesn't use that character more in the stand-up portion of the picture is incomprehensible; it's easily her star turn.

Technically the picture is fine for a bare-bones effort, and Cho's adoring fans--of whom there seem to be many, and to whom she panders shamelessly in the all-too-strident closing minutes of her act--will certainly embrace it. But compared to her earlier feature, "Notorious C.H.O." is too notorious and not enough Cho. 

 

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