It’s hard to explain the genius of Jane Lynch without quoting from what might be her ultimate performance, as children’s counselor Gayle Sweeny in the 2008 film “Role Models.” She’s overseeing two adult miscreants who have been sent to her child mentoring program to avoid prison, and she offers an insight into her, ahem, relationship, with the judge monitoring their cases. “Me and the judge have a special relationship … I don’t wanna get graphic, but I …”
If you’ve seen the movie, you know how to finish the line, and if you haven’t, stop reading and go to Netflix, Blockbuster or your VOD channel and watch it. Her interpretation of Sweeny, a woman with a heart of gold, a spine of steel and a personal history that includes small-time celebrityhood, drug abuse and prostitution, provides her fanbase with the whole panopoly of wacky colors, wicked asides and deterministic derangement we’ve all come to expect from the funniest woman on screen(s) today.
She laid down “Granny law” in Adam McKay’s “Talladega Nights,” and she butched up the poodles and shih tzu set in Christopher Guest’s “Best in Show.” Her Laurie Bohner in Guest’s “A Mighty Wind” brought some much-needed sexual ambiguity to the over-earnest folk music scene of the ’60s, and she’s made us laugh even harder at gut-busting comedies like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Walk Hard” and the upcoming “Advenures of Power” while brightening up sitcoms from “My Name Is Earl” to “Two and a Half Men” and providing punch and pathos to series from “The L Word” to “Criminal Minds.”
And now she’s got “Julie and Julia” in theaters and “Glee” on TV, which is perhaps the perfect concoction of irony, music and slightly loopy merriment that will certainly bring new Lynch fans into the fold as she tears up everything we ever associated with the word “pep.”
Speaking of her fans, we have a special relationship with this gifted actress. I don’t want to get graphic but …– Steven Gaydos