What the Hell were you thinking Day?
Charlie Day is one of my favorite comic talents, but his directorial debut of “Fool’s Paradise” is one of the stupidest and pointless comedies I have ever seen. It’s one that wants to satirize the Hollywood dream, but doesn’t even know the meaning of the word “comedy.” And in a lousy attempt to channel on Harpo Marx, Day has to play a mute man released from a mental hospital and wandering around the streets of Hollywood, until he gets picked up by a producer (the late Ray Liotta), who has replace the most hateful actor around, who resembles him. Because Day also plays that actor, who makes the right call to hang himself to try to get into character for a Billy the Kid movie.
Now, the silent man picks up where he left off, and is ultimately turned into a celebrity-one with so many cliches. It’s all so random and derivative, as if we’re in some parallel universe where people are supposed to act like this today.
His publicist (Ken Jeong) is a down-on-his-luck jerk, who desperately needs a fresh talent to promote, and he finds Day. The man is given the name Latte Pronto, maybe because someone asks for a “Latte, Pronto.”
He marries the celebrity Christiana Dior (Kate Beckinsale), who has to look like a ’30s diva, yammers on and on, and wants to adopt three kids. He finds himself with an insect film which resorts in poor reviews but commercial success overseas. And conflicts he inadvertently ends up in threaten his fame.
This movie has a big cast with Adrien Brody as Latte’s co-star, Jason Sudeikis as as “Fast & Furious” director (which the movie calls “Fast Racer”), Jason Bateman as an effects tech guy, Alanna Ubach as a porno actress, Common as a homeless man, Edie Falco as a talent agent, and many others like John Malkovich, Jillian Bell, Jimmi Simpson, and Dean Norris come in.
I’m, at least, finding one good idea in this casting: a “Horrible Bosses” reunion between Day, Sudeikis, and Bateman. Maybe it could work in another movie or maybe it will bomb like “Horrible Bosses 2,” but either way, it has nothing on the “Superbad” reunion between Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse in “This is the End,” which was released a decade ago.
“Fool’s Paradise” has two bad performances from Day, one of them is short and the other is long. I can hardly believe that he wrote this, because I know he can do better than succumb to this idiocy. These past few years have worked for him. He was likable in “How it Ends,” he was sweet in “I Want You Back,” and he was fun as the voice of Luigi in “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” But in this movie, he caters to the crowd who likes his flexible humor by being too flexible and too comical.
Obviously, he didn’t see Chris Rock’s “Top Five,” which had him complaining about people asking for another sequel in a popular franchise. I know comedy actors can expand their horizons: Robin Williams proved that, Adam Sandler proved that, John Candy proved that, Seth Rogen proved that, and Jordan Peele proved that.
Even after watching this, I still have no idea what it was about. And I’ll take my chances with the wretched excess of “Babylon” over the crass and idiotic behaviors presented here. At least that film had fun with Hollywood in a certain time period. And as I opened with my “Fist Fight” review, “All comedy and no laughs makes Chris a dull critic.”