Not So Crazy About ‘Crazy Heart’

This is no “Wrestler” folks. This is Glen Campbell makes a comeback.

Last Updated: February 24, 2010 @ 3:26 PM

Jeff Bridges has been one Hollywood’s most authentic actors since the old studio days. No matter what his age, Bridges has always exuded a manly charm without ever slithering into gonzo machismo.

This is a delicate dance not successfully completed by most of Tinseltown’s male “elite.”

Bridges’ quiet dignity has always been underscored by a hilariously believable character regardless of movie plausibility (remember “Starman”?). He was the alien, and we believed and fell in love. He sang for Michelle Pfeiffer, became a cult legend — and now praise has been heaped on that bloated dude, for a movie that touches on failure, abandonment, heart-break and redemption.
Word-of-mouth has propelled this little movie that could into the must-see of the season.
“Crazy Heart” is buzzing loudly around the ears of Oscar voters and the minions who have been flocking to see the flick. And so, on a recent weekend, two couples went to an ancient theater that plays one film at a time with seats from your middle school assembly. But it only cost $5, and the popcorn is fresh.
“Crazy Heart” started out all deserty-cute and funny, with bottles of urine and unbuckled pants here and there. Oh, what a down-and-out character. Playing in a bowling alley! Can’t get much worse, right? Feels vaguely familiar, though. And we stuck with the whole device, Jeff, until a soda machine screwed the pooch.
 
The scene that did it for me was when Bridges passes a huge red and white Coca Cola machine that signals corporate finger-sticking. I don’t get it. And we’re supposed to suspend disbelief when we’re getting a commercial during a crucial scene? Check please! That wasn’t in “Tender Merices,” I bet. That’s right. It’s like a “Multiplicity” of “Tender Mercies”!
The next version will be fainter, one may be, uh, child-like, and the other may be gay. Sorry, my mind wandered during some of the scenes. Usually the predictable ones with the kid. You put a kid in the flick and it’s going to go off sometime. I think Hitchcock said that. He was right.
To me, this movie deserves Hallmark status. This is no “Wrestler” folks. This is Glen Campbell makes a comeback.
Who cares? This is the phoniest movie about a down-and-out-alcoholic-former-star-with few redemptive qualities. So of course, all will be tidied up at the end, every scene telegraphed, looks of benign disapproval played out predictably. And so on.
This movie is a lame and crappy re-do of “The Wrestler,” without the chemistry, heat, passion or credibility.
And Maggie Gyllenhaal? What even more waste of talent. Not a shred of believability could be discerned from her dopey reporter portrayal. She’s going to be attracted to a disgustingly filthy, smelly, sweaty, greasy old fart 30 years her senior who pukes alot?
And don’t quote that Woody Allen adage, “The heart wants what the heart wants,” because there has to be some reason they clicked. And they sure didn’t click on film.
And Robert Duvall! What was he thinking trying to reprise “Tender Mercies” but in a crappy, simplistic way? And what exactly what was their relationship? And are you going to tell me that one go-round at rehab and a handful of group therapy sessions will tame the alcoholic beast?
Oh, please. Give me a break.
And then Bridges’ character (“Bad” but really Otis) hits it big, 16 months later, still sober (and we’re supposed to believe he had no relapses?) and satisfied with his life. And not even pissed that he lost the girl. And how much did Colin Farrell get paid for that 10 minute bit? It would have been nice to actually understand the so-important lyrics that were mumble-sung throughout this tedious film.
I’m renting “Starman” tomorrow.

Naomi Serviss has covered Broadway, celebrities, lavish resorts and high-end spas. Based in New York City, she's still hooked on Hollywood.