DIRECTOR: Jean-Marc Vallée | WRITERS Jean-Marc Vallée, François Boulay | CAST: Marc-André Grondin, Michel Côté, Danielle Proulx, Pierre-Luc Brillant, Alex Gravel, Maxime Tremblay, Natasha Thompson | CANADA
I have a very low tolerance for k00Ky characters, wacky situations, and the eruption out of nowhere of cartoonish fantasy sequences, and almost no tolerance at all for cutesy superfluous details piled on top of superfluous whimsical fluorishes. So it’s no wonder I wasn’t all that crazy about C.R.A.Z.Y., a not particularly well-written or directed French-Canadian coming-of-age and coming-out flick that reeks of John Hughes’ influence. (That Marc-André Grondin and Natasha Thompson reminded me so strongly of Jon Cryer and Mary Stuart Masterson didn’t help.) The movie has some really serious tone problems, and the acting is all over the place: some of it is broad sketch comedy mugging (Danielle Proulx deserves an Alice Pearce award for making with the goggle eyes), some is After School Special, some is just bad. I confess that a turning point for me was when Zac’s father, Gervais, made such a huge deal out of a specific imported LP release of a Patsy Cline greatest hits record that was accidentally destroyed: he’s adamant that it is that specific LP release that was the best ever and no other collection of those songs on LP could ever hope to compare. Well, maybe, but it doesn’t follow that Gervais would be ecstatic when he receives a worn out, beat up replacement copy (dog-eared cover, no inside protective sleeve) that Zac found in a stall in the Old City of Jerusalem. This plot contrivance strains credulity beyond the breaking point a hundred times over. I’d have found it more believable and I’d have more respect for the movie if Zac had invented a time machine and brought Patsy Cline herself home with him to sing for his father. It was at the very end of the movie when the significance of the title is literally spelled out that I decided I didn’t just not like C.R.A.Z.Y., I hated it.