NOTORIOUS C.H.O.

NR
Reviews

Margaret Cho reasserts her eminence as the funniest woman alive with her second performance film, Notorious C.H.O. The comic regales a happy audience of devotees in a Seattle theatre with sidesplitting, ultra-raunchy routines, which mostly deal with sex in all of its unlikely, often bizarre permutations. She has no great, axe-grinding story to tell here, as she did with I'm the One That I Want, delineating her doomed career as a TV sitcom star. So she just lets her imagination (and libido) run wild. She gleefully riffs on what it would be like if men had periods. ("Most bachelor apartments would look like a mass murder.") She describes any number of sexual acts, both natural and unnatural, and her hilarious visit to an SM club. Utilizing her rubbery, expressive face and gift for dead-on mimicry, she makes a visit to Water's Gift, a high-colonic specialist's office in L.A., a small classic. And, of course, she smashes right into Asian media stereotyping. ("I mean, what did I have? I would look into the mirror as a little girl and say, 'I want to grow up and be an extra on 'M*A*S*H'!' I'd be practicing the lines I'd be given: 'Sucky fucky, two dollar/Me so horny.') Through it all, she gloriously holds fast to her basic philosophy as a multiple minority member: "Love yourself without reservation...love each other without restraint. Unless you're into leather." A comic standby of her act, her wonderfully droll Korean mother, is touched on, to her fans' delight and, indeed, even makes a rare onscreen appearance, with Cho's father. That these two perfectly conservative, straitlaced Koreans could have produced such a holy terror is assuredly one of the things that make America great.

--David Noh