Film Review: Crazy EyesThe only audience that’s likely to respond favorably to this vanity production about the slow, painful self-discovery of a rich, young Hollywood filmmaker would be <i>other </i>rich, young and screwed-up Hollywood filmmakers. But even they might b
The only audience that’s likely to respond favorably to this vanity production about the slow, painful self-discovery of a rich, young Hollywood filmmaker would be other rich, young and screwed-up Hollywood filmmakers. But even they might be put off.
Writer-director Adam Sherman has said he “always wanted to make a dark, romantic kind of drunk, weird, realistic” movie. And funnily enough, he realized that a recent period in his own life offered the perfect material for just such a film.
Yes, the autobiographical Crazy Eyes is dark, both visually and emotionally, and the protagonist—Zach (Lukas Haas), the filmmaker’s alter ego—gets drunk, on both booze and drugs, and stays that way from beginning to end. Because Sherman swears his film is “98% true” to his own life, we can’t argue about its realism—but calling Crazy Eyes romantic? This dude must have some wacko ideas about what constitutes romance.
Zach, who has an ex-wife and a five-year-old son, spends his lonely evenings on the terrace of his expensive hillside home speed-dialing women he knows to see if they’re ready to meet him for a “drink, maybe dinner.” Striking out (again and again), he goes to a local hangout where his buddy Dan (Jake Busey, Gary’s son and he looks it) tends bar, and where he runs into Rebecca (Madeline Zima), the girl he calls, for unexplained reasons, “Crazy Eyes.” She reminds Zach that he promised to take her to an exhibit of Hieronymus Bosch paintings, but when they get there the waiting line is too long, so they go back to the bar to drink. Or snort a few lines of cocaine. Or do both and throw up. There’s a lot of drinking, drugs and puking in this movie, and a big chunk of gratuitous violence when the bartender and his pals helpfully beat up one of Crazy Eyes’ ex-boyfriends when he shows up to challenge Zach.
At first, the relationship between Zach and Rebecca appears to be casual and meaningless—but as it evolves he becomes absolutely obsessed with her. Even during his infrequent visits with his son, he’s thinking about Crazy Eyes; when his father has a heart attack and eventually dies, he still can’t get her out of his mind. The question is why: This girl is zonked out most of the time and even when sober, she’s listless and barely functional. And despite her fascination with Bosch, she seems too Valley-Girl dumb to have any intellectual appeal. Sure, she’s attractive, but no more than 95% of the young women who live in L.A. So it must be the sex, right? Well, yes, but in a perverse sort of way—because Crazy Eyes consistently refuses to sleep with Zach, and that is what keeps his obsession alive. Of course, she does spend almost every night in his bed—but only to sleep. Whenever he makes an amorous move, like getting on top of her, she pushes him away—shouting “Get off me!” Romantic, right?
For those readers who know by now that they’ll never actually go see this movie, yet find themselves idly wondering what eventually happens between Zach and Crazy Eyes—here it is: When they finally do get it on, he’s disappointed because that “whole thing about the earth moving” just didn’t happen. And she’s crushed because now that she kind of likes him, he no longer has any use for her. Seems he’s not the nice guy she thought he was. Which was her reason for rejecting him, all along, you see—because he was “too nice.” She actually says that.
If Crazy Eyes truly is an accurate portrayal of the louche, rich young things who live in La-La Land, they’re even weirder and more lost than the rest of us thought.