Directed by Tom DiCillo
I will admit, coming up with a final rating for "Delirious" was very difficult. On one hand, I really did enjoy this buddy comedy/Hollywood satire, but on the other hand there is this strange portion in the middle-about twenty five minutes worth of material-where I just shook my head in bewilderment, and wondered if I was watching a different movie. And this took away, considering it was based on crucial plot information-I just did not like the direction the film was going in. Steve Buscemi gives in a wonderful performance as Les, a Hollywood paparazzi looking for that one photo that will skyrocket him to the top-the "shot heard round the world." One day he crosses paths with Toby, a young homeless man, who asks to be his assistant of sorts. Les gives him board in his apartment, and the two of them go out in the days to scope for shots. Eventually Toby crosses paths with Karma-the biggest music star around-and gets on Les' bad side when he seems to choose that lifestyle over the one that he's created with Les.
The first hour of "Delirious" is pretty great. Steve Buscemi is at his best, and his buddy work with actor Michael Pitt was very realistic and natural, as if the two of them have been working together for years. But about an hour and ten minutes in-during a scene that I was really getting into-the script takes a 180 degree turn and ends up becoming a satire on Hollywood. There is even a reality TV joke whose likes of which I have seen before. There is interesting running commentary on the role the paparazzi has in the celebrity, but during the middle of this film I longed for the intimate conversations of the first half, and the hilarious moments DiCillo penned for Les and Toby to have with one another. When they get split up, this takes a turn for the worse. Redeeming itself with a moment of unexpected poignancy in the end, DiCillo made up for his somewhat disagreeable middle portion, but not enough for me to fully recommend this. But it's hard to not fall for this films charm. Beautifully shot and with dialogue written perfectly, "Delirious" is very enjoyable, but I can't shake this section of the film that disagreed with me off. I am proud to learn that this will be getting a release in August-and it has already been put on the Angelika's release schedule for the summer. It is an extremely well acted and well-written comedy that just misses the mark. So I don't recommend it and recommend it at the same time. All I can say for sure is to stay after the credits for a final scene that will certainly have you leave with a smile on your face.