Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Delirious: Grade D

Delirious (2006)
Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Alison Lohman, Gina Gershon; Writer-Director Tom DeCillio.

Buscemi is a sleazy, blowhard paparazzo in New York who takes in homeless youth Pitt as his unpaid assistant. Buscemi offends teenage star-of-the-moment Lohman, causing her to reject him and lovestruck Pitt. Pitt then gets an acting role through a chance encounter with casting director Gershon and becomes a successful TV personality. With that status, he is reunited with his lost love. This is supposed to be a satire of the cult of celebrity and of the paparazzi. Buscemi shows no range with his character, doing only the angry, hyper, edge-of-crazy routine reminiscent of his performance in Reservoir Dogs, and while initially interesting, it seems out of place and gets boring real fast. Pitt shows an attractive wide-eyed innocence, as he did in Octopus Eyes, but that’s his one trick. Gershon delivers the best acting, but why did she sign on to this awful project? Her talents are wasted. Sets are good, especially Buscemi’s apartment and his parents’ house. There are numerous errors arising from the filmmakers’ inability to avoid cliché, such as showing circled frames on a contact sheet after a digital shoot. Celebrity glitz is not very glitzy anymore, too easy for cliché humor, so despite a few funny lines and gags, the movie flops from uninspired writing and banal directing. I should have guessed as much from the sophomoric DVD cover with a slack-jawed Buscemi.

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