CRAZY FAMOUS – A Review by Cynthia Flores
Clive James once said – “A life without fame can be a good life, but fame without a life is no life at all.” The new film Crazy Famous takes a light hearted look at the pursuit of fame for fame’s sake.
It’s the feature film debut of director Paul Jarrett. It’s a totally silly, tight on budget but not laughs, indie picture. He shows a deft touch at getting strong performances from his ensemble cast. I like his choice of setups in everything except the way over-the-top torture scenes. This film Crazy Famous shows he has a lot of promise.
The film is a combination buddy and road trip story. Bob Marcus (Gregory Lay) is an average guy in every respect much to the chagrin of his parents who are obsessed with either raising or not helping to raise somebody who's famous in the arts or in sports. Bob has no talent in either, so he feels he's let his family down. He decides if he can jump the fence at Camp David that he will become famous, especially since he decides to do it stripped down to his tighty whities. This of course lands him in a mental institute where he is put on suicide watch and forced to wear a crazy, bright yellow, Velcro, rubber dress of sorts. It's here where he meets his soon-to-be besties. He has Larry (Victor Cruz), who has anger management issues and is constantly eating. Dr. Phil (David Neal Levin), a patient who believes he's the real one and is constantly diagnosing (correctly) their symptoms. Dr. Phil almost steals the show with his consistently funny deadpan antics. Last but not least you have Mr. Smith (Richard Short) who believes he is a CIA operative. He tells everybody he knows where Bin Laden is, which of course makes him sound insane because Bin Laden has been dead for years. He says that's what the government wants you to believe. He offers Bob a chance to be famous by asking for his help to escape the mental institute and go with him to find and kill Osama bin Laden. Bob knows he can't do it alone, so he talks Larry and Dr. Phil into joining him on his last best effort to become famous.
Crazy Famous has one of the funniest escape from a mental institute bits I’ve seen in a while. Their antics on the road as they escape include an old brown Gremlin that’s outfitted with escape tricks that Bond might use and stealing a short, yellow school bus traditionally used for mentally challenged children. Brilliant.
The movie Crazy Famous is not a perfect film. Like I said before they could probably have lost a few of their over the top torture scenes because they just didn't play well in this really good comedy. However, the dialogue between the leads rang true, the cinematography and audio for such a small budget film were good, and most importantly, the film is funny. This movie reminded me a little of the 2002 comedy horror classic film Bubba Ho-Tep in the way that the chemistry between the four lead actors was spot on and believable even in situations that were not.
For that reason, I give Crazy Famous a solid B rating because it's nice escapism filmmaking and with everything crazy going on in the world today we could use some more of that.
Directed by Paul Jarrett
Written By Bob Farkas
Selig Rating B
Running Time 1hr 18min
Starring: Gregory Lay, Richard Short, Victor Cruz, David Neal Levin, Bob Jaffe, Ajay Naidu,Catherine Curtin
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.