Greetings again from the darkness. Sarah Jones is a Tony winning actress and comedian, and one thing is obvious after watching her first film – she is a sensitive and intelligent person. Co-written with David Goldblum, this partially scripted docu-com is described on screen as an “Unorthodoc”. This is an odd film with seemingly conflicting objectives: documenting the process of adapting Ms. Jones’ stage presentation to the big screen or acknowledging the backlash to this by following her on a philosophical journey of self-discovery.

We begin by meeting Sarah Jones and her troupe of characters: an octogenarian Jewish grandmother, a social media-obsessed twenty-something student, a Puerto Rican women’s advocate, and a mouthy Uber driver. Ms. Jones plays each of these characters. Throughout the film, we also meet her real-life mother Leslie, who is helping and sharing in the grief over the recent death of Sarah’s sister. Over the course of the film, Sarah also crosses paths with some familiar faces like Rosario Dawson, Bryan Cranston, Ilana Grazer, Evan Seinfeld, and others (each of these appear as themselves).

Sarah’s elation at having her work turned into a film is soon thwarted by the social media backlash claiming she has no right to tell the story of sex workers within the sex industry. In other words, Sarah herself becomes a victim of cancel culture and scrambles to find a path forward. Now considered an outsider who is not entitled to tell these stories, she digs in and meets with those in the industry to determine whether they are being exploited or if they view this as seizing an opportunity.

What this boils down to is what we once called research, discussion, and debate – all four-letter words these days, but this was the ‘old school’ way of learning about a topic. Sarah heads to Las Vegas for a sex industry conference and even visits the infamous Chicken Ranch, a legally-operated brothel. Sure, some of the bits feel a bit contrived, but it’s a pleasure, and often entertaining, to see Sarah Jones dig deep to find answers to questions she doesn’t already know the answer to. It turns out that old school research and curiosity can also provide some entertainment value.

Releasing in theaters on October 14, 2022


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