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Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy (1996)
Brain Candy (aka Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy) is a feature film by The Kids in the Hall, a Canadian comedy troupe. Directed by Kelly Makin, filmed in Toronto, and released in 1996, it followed the five season run of their television series, which had been successful in both Canada and the United States. The five man team plays all of the major characters, and many of the bit parts. Brendan Fraser and Janeane Garofalo have cameos, Garofalo's being almost entirely absent from the final cut. The film is about the introduction of a powerful antidepressant, GLeeMONEX. The drug is rushed into production to help the ailing Roritor Pharmaceuticals and becomes an overnight media sensation. Those involved in the early stages of GLeeMONEX- the scientists, marketing arm and several early users - are followed, right up through the troubling coma-like side effect of being stuck in their happiest memory. Some characters from the television series appear briefly in Brain Candy.
If you aren't familiar with the comedy troupe, the Kids are five guys (Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson, and Dave Foley) who have appeared in 110 episodes of some of the funniest sketch comedy television has offered up in recent years. After ending the series in July 1994, talk of a movie immediately began. Two years later, the end result is here.
What the Kids have brought us with Brain Candy is a 90 minute skit about a drug company and its hapless employees who invent the penultimate 'happy pill,' GleeMonex. The only problem, they later discover, is that those that take the pill commonly become comatose due to the ecstasy caused by it...which isn't such a happy result after all.
Plotline aside, the real question on everyone's mind is, 'Is it any good?' Well...yes and no. The Kids have brought back some 40 of our favorite characters from the show (and some new ones), and their performances as Canada's most ridiculous citizens are perfectly done. The problem, and it's quite a big one, is that the GleeMonex storyline gets old--fast, although it has a certain charm and does serve to tie the whole movie together. In the end, the plot is little more than an arbitrary way of getting to the funny bits of the script, which rarely have anything to do with the Brain Candy in question.
Good characters in a crummy story don't make for particularly good time, but there are plenty of laughs to be had by all scattered throughout the film. You're probably better off just watching three episodes of the TV show at home, but for die-hard fans, the movie will probably carry at least some appeal. Just don't take any pills from strangers.
(Special note: Yes! Paul Bellini (the guy in the towel) does appear in one scene.)
The kids are alright.