The movie, Crazy People, is one of those films for which the phrase "only in Hollywood" was coined. Its hook: a bunch of lunatics come up with honest ad campaigns (i.e. "Continental: We'll screw them to get your package there on time" and "Sony: Because Caucasians are just too damn tall"). Its stars slapped in: Dudley Morre (whom I affectionately nickname the British Warren Beatty), Daryl Hannah (at the end of the 80s, the decade she shared with Kim Basigner), Paul Reiser (before "Mad About You"), David Paymer (need I say more), and J.T. Walsh.
To sum the plot up, Emory (Moore) is committed after pitching numerous honest ad campaigns at his Madison Avenue firm. When the ads accidentally hit the press and become ungodly successful, Drucker (Walsh) makes the decision to pull Emory out of the nuthouse and put him back in the office.
One problem: Emory has fallen for Kathy (Hannah) and doesn't want to leave the sanitarium.
So, the other lunatics begin helping him design ads for which they are paid back in pens.
This, my friends, is where the movie takes a severe turn towards sucking.
As soon as the writer gets the chance, he takes the film away from its fairly good premise and brings it into the realm of being a soapbox from which to preach about the rights of the mentally ill for recognition and compensation. He makes Moore become an articulate spokesperson for this, which forms an extreme irony on two points. The first is that Dudley Moore is so drunk that you can barely understand him throughout the film, and thus isn't very articulate at all. The second is that the film is highly unfair to the mentally ill.
Before I step on my own soapbox and make the mistake that Crazy People did, I will say that the movie would have been more funny were it not exactly what advertising (and, oftentimes, Hollywood) is... a series of good lines. Although each ad slogan, such as "AT&T: We're tired of taking your crap", is howlingly funny, and each character is tossed a few nice lines, the movie as a whole has nothing beyond that. It seems to be an adman's movie. By admen, about admen.
Of course, being as highly Hollywood as Crazy People is, one can sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie. One cannot, however, expect any deviation from the norm other than a little more bravery to say what one wants.
Crazy People takes the standard road. It could have been great, or at least it could have been decent, but it failed.
Run time: 90 mins
In Theaters: Friday 13th April 1990
Distributed by: Paramount Home Video
Production compaines: Paramount Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 12
IMDB: 5.8 / 10
Director: Tony Bill
Producer: Robert K. Weiss
Screenwriter: Mitch Markowitz
Starring: Dudley Moore as Emory Leeson, Daryl Hannah as Kathy Burgess, Paul Reiser as Stephen Bachman, J. T. Walsh as Drucker, David Paymer as George, Mercedes Ruehl as Dr. Liz Baylor, Paul Bates as Robles, Bill Smitrovich as Bruce
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