The eyeglasses are horrible. As is the hair. She's loud, and her painted-on eyebrows twitch while she's nattering away at the camera, stopping only to light one of the lady-long cigarettes she chain smokes. You see pictures of her from the old days in the 1950s, when she was a dark-haired, buxom dish from the Bronx in chest-hugging sweaters, and it's hard to reconcile those images and the ones you're seeing in uncomfortable close-up, talking about the old days. She's bristling and unapologetic, the kind of woman who would yell at you (actually yell) in the supermarket for getting in her way. Her relatives and friends who are brought on to talk about her whirlwind romance and the tragedy that stopped it, at least for a few years, are just as brassy. The pure definition of broads. All of which makes it even more of a shock when you realize that she's not wearing the sunglasses for effect, but because she's blind. Not only that, she was blinded. By the man who supposedly loved her. Who she then married. And is still married to today.
Co-directors Dan Klores and Fisher Stevens' reserved and respectful yet utterly transfixing documentary Crazy Love documents the decades-long odyssey that was the tortured relationship of Linda Riis and Burt Pugach, a couple of Bronx kids who indulged in what may have been the perfect tabloid relationship. Perfect for the tabloids, at least. Burt was ten years older than Linda, and already a gadfly-about-New York in 1957 when he met the 20-year-old Linda. A good girl with a reputation for being a tease, Linda was immediately taken with Burt, who, despite his nebbish appearance was a wealthy, womanizing, hotshot lawyer specializing in negligence cases (less charitable souls would characterize him as an ambulance chaser) who ran his own nightclub and frequented many others, always in a hot car and usually with an adoring Linda on his arm.
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