Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Crazy Famous: Movie Review

Successfully walks to the tightrope between nonsense and comedy.
Bob Marcus (Gregory Lay) will do whatever it takes to be famous – that includes stripping down to his underwear and using a trampoline to vault over the President’s security gate. Unfortunately, he was at Camp David and the President wasn’t there at the time, so it didn’t get him on the news, but it did get him a stay at a mental institution. That’s the premise for indie comedy Crazy Famous. Silly for sure, but it’s a funny, short, entertaining romp about sanity and government agents. 2017

Directed by: Paul Jarrett

Screenplay by: Bob Farkas

Starring: Gregory Lay, Richard Short, Victor Cruz and David Neal Levin

The film works because it doesn’t bite off more than it can chew, and the ridiculous plot fits the style of comedy making it consistently funny throughout the short run-time. There are unanswered questions, like who has admitted these patients into the mental hospital and who is paying for their stay? It seems too nice to be public run and some of the characters’ issues seem relatively minor. But the answers don’t matter because that is not this movie. This movie is about whether or not Bob is going to achieve his desire for fame and if he can trust and rely on his fellow inmates.

It’s a combination of his fellow inmates and the adventures they get themselves on which really make this film shine. Bob just wants to be famous, he’s not insane, so of course he doesn’t think he belongs there. Bob’s key to get out is Smith (Richard Short) – he believes he’s a special agent who is being hunted by the CIA because he knows where Osama bin Laden is. Meanwhile, Larry (Victor Cruz) has a number of fears and issues, notably anger. Larry is particularly frustrated by the others’ inability to accept reality. Helping to bring them all together is Dr. Phil (David Neal Levin); technically, he’s just a guy who believes he’s Dr. Phil, or wants to be Dr. Phil, but it’s a really great, subtly hilarious impersonation that it’s only fitting the fellow characters and viewers just call him Dr. Phil.

Smith has a plan to help make Bob famous, they just need to break out of the mental institution first. Smith’s plan drives the film – it’s funny, creative, and even if it goes off the walls a bit, it still fits the movie and remains funny. Short is particularly great in the role, remaining dead serious amongst all the insanity, which helps the film walk the tightrope between nonsense and comedy.

It’s a well-produced indie with great music by Lucas Lechowski, and despite a few false notes among some of the supporting cast, there are enough funny scenes to carry you to the next funny scene. One note of advice, you have to keep watching until you meet the gun shop owner – a simple, effective scene executed to hilarious perfection.