Parents' Guide to

Delirious

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Mature paparazzi drama isn't quite in focus.

Movie NR 2007 107 minutes
Delirious Poster Image

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Writer-director Tom DiCillo must not have much sympathy for the paparazzi. In Delirious, he paints them as goodie bag-hungry lowlifes with no taste and little respect for the privacy of their marks. They're dealers in an age where Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton are the drugs of choice. If only the film knew what kind of chord it was trying to strike. One moment it feels like a scathing think piece; the next, a surrealistic comedy. Plus, it suffers from a meandering quality that only confuses: Why is Toby so oddly naïve? How does he really feel about everything that happens to him? Why would K'harma be attracted to him?

Still, DiCillo manages to invite viewers into a world that's far more calculated and vapid than anything most viewers have imagined. (Even Les' parents look down on what he does.) The argument that two publicists have over which of their celebrity clients should walk the red carpet first and why is priceless. It's a testament to Buscemi's charms that he can make such a louse appear somewhat compassionate just when he needs it most. He's so masterful at infusing emotion into the smallest of actions -- Les' head hangs in shame; his lips fold into a disapproving line -- that he owns the movie. Pitt, too, holds his own as the innocent slacker with a perpetual deer-in-the-headlights look (though his role is written far too mysteriously). In fact, pretty much everyone in the movie is great (watch for Gina Gershon as a casting director). But unfortunately for DiCillo, a great cast doesn't necessarily translate into a great movie.

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