Monday, September 10, 2012

"Crazy Eyes": can a rich (heterosexual) playboy become a real man?


Adam Sherman has a new film about a young man’s capacity for maturity (that is, real manhood) being tested, called “Crazy Eyes”.  He says it is a bit autobiographical.

He wrote the film with Guild writers Dave Reeves and Rachel Hardisty.  Sherman has said that the Writers’ Guild has some rules as to who gets credit on a film, and that was complicated by the way he did the collaboration. But in the end, everybody got credit.

His collaboration seems controversial because he says the film is largely autobiographical.  If so, that may not do him credit.  I face similar issues myself, but with a twist.

Lukas Haas plays the central character, Zach, a boozing young man, about 30, living a playboy’s life in Hollywood Hills (or maybe Bel Air – I’m not sure I know the boundaries even though I stayed on the 405 myself (at the Angelino) during my recent trip to LA).   Despite his swagger, his hairless chest provides an early visual metaphor for what the plot will become, perhaps.  His best friend is a bartender Dan (Jake Busey), hardly macho himself – and Dan will put up with him despite his tendency to get into fights in straight bars.  (I’ve only seen two fights in gay bars in my life, since 1973, one in Hawaii in 1980, and one in London in 1982.)

He’s already divorced (Ex is Moran Atias), with a little son (Blake Garrett Rosenthal) already into piano but maybe dealing with mild Asperger’s.  You wonder from his behavior, however, how he even got married. 
He wants a more mature woman, Rebecca, called “Crazy Eyes” (also the name of a mixed drink), and she won’t have him until he grows up. He remains childish, however, even as he learns of his father’s stroke. His parents, played by Ray Wise and Valerie Mahaffey, have half-heartedly try to tame him, but it seems like they are unable to cut him off.  (He couldn’t possibly work for a living – no, he’s not a “sergeant”.)  He does sit by his dad’s side, though, and starts to get a little closer to his son.  But he says some pretty stark one-liners to his boy,  “God is not real” and “Many people are stupid.”

Will some family responsibility, from an “East wind”, make him grow up?  The film throws some playful twists in its last half hour.  I’m not sure they work for me, though.

How would this sort of movie play out with a character who “successfully” lives from a fantasy perch, and never marries or has kids in the first place (because of self-absorption)?

Strand has announced a release date of Oct. 9, 2012 for the DCD (pre-book on Sept. 11).  I reviewed it from a sample.


Strand’s official site is here

The film was an official selection at SXSW and won best director, actress and cinematography in Madrid. 

Section picture: My trip to LA, May 2012. 

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