I really have
nobody to blame but myself. Julia
Roberts is in this film. As
if that weren’t bad enough, so is George Clooney.
And if those facts weren’t bad enough, Clooney directs it!
How could it be any good?
But I went to
see it anyway. The story is that Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell), who produced
some of the worst television shows of all time, like The Gong Show, is
recruited by a mysterious Jim Byrd (Clooney) to become a hit man for the
CIA. So we have to believe
that the CIA employed hit men to go around the world killing people and
that Barris, who was a wimpy nobody when he was chosen, would be a
candidate, out of 200 million Americans, for this type of work. From what
I gathered out of the movie, Byrd picked him, after tailing him and
compiling a dossier, because he was so terrible in bar fights.
He fit the “profile,” according to Byrd.
Does that make any sense? Does
anything in this movie make any sense?
Rockwell does a
pretty good job of making Barris an object of ridicule.
Clooney is, well, Clooney, which, when coming from my pen, is not a
compliment. And the directing is terminally artsy and cutesy.
The peripheral sound goes off from time to time; the lighting
changes; Clooney speaks in a monotone all the time.
Clooney’s death scene is ludicrous beyond belief (I don’t like
to give things away, but nothing anyone says can make this movie less
enjoyable than it made itself).
You never do
know who Patricia (Julia Roberts) is, or why the character is in the
movie. And the language!
Everybody uses the “f” word, including Leonard Goldenson, the
founder and Chairman of the Board of ABC.
And it’s not just occasional.
It’s all the time.
The moral tone
is low. Not only does it show
prolific sex without responsibility or ramification, it shows Barris’s
murders as just being everyday things without explanation, meaning or
consequence. The people who
are killed are no more than ciphers, rather than real people with families
and friends. As to the sex,
Barris sleeps with everyone he can with the knowledge and consent of his
girl friend, Penny (Drew Barrymore).
But, after a relationship that was defined by infidelity, all of a
sudden she gets angry when she finds him in the arms of another woman.
The best thing I
can say about this is that it’s a stinker.
January 26, 2003