"Excessive Foul Language Derails Comedy"
What You Need To Know:
A small independent movie, DELIRIOUS is a hilarious send-up of Hollywood and the “news” media’s obsession with celebrity and career. The movie’s cast delivers the goods. Despite his obscenity-laced speech, the character of Les, as played by Buscemi, is one of the great comical inventions in recent years. Sadly, however, a good portion of the movie’s content is equivalent to a hard R rating, so DELIRIOUS has a really excessive amount of strong foul language. Another moral flaw nearly derails the movie’s feel-good, sweet ending. Finally, DELIRIOUS contains some sexual elements and brief partial nudity.
(B, PaPa, LLL, V, S, NN, A, D, M) Light moral worldview marred by strong pagan elements, especially lots of strong foul language from major character who is a cynical, grumpy person; about 103 mostly strong obscenities (including many “f” words), 16 strong profanities and five light profanities; brief, light violence such as violence on old movie on TV, scuffling, coffee containers accidentally knocked out of man’s hands as photographers rush two celebrities, and man rigs camera to fire bullets because he is considering killing someone; implied fornication, man lives with one woman after having a falling out with woman he is really likes, some sexual dialogue, man’s pants crudely stick out after having operation to fix a cosmetic problem, brief kissing, and benefit sign says, “Soap Stars Against STDs”; partial rear female nudity in one scene, female cleavage, upper male nudity, man in trunks and woman in bra and panties sit and emerge from indoor hot tub in hotel room; alcohol use; smoking; and, light miscellaneous immorality in comical plot such as cynicism, man lies to a new friend who was nice to him, paparazzi competition, mooching, etc.
DELIRIOUS, a small independent movie, is a hilarious send-up of Hollywood and the “news” media’s obsession with celebrity and career. Sadly, however, it is equivalent to a hard R rating, so it has a really excessive amount of strong foul language. There is also another moral flaw that nearly derails the movie’s feel-good, sweet ending.
Steve Buscemi plays cynical, grumpy, foul-mouthed Les, who considers himself a photojournalist but is really just another member of the sleazy paparazzi, and a low-level one at that. Les encounters a young homeless actor, Toby Grace, played by Michael Pitt. Les takes pity on Toby, offers him a room for the night and eventually lets him become his assistant, but he makes Toby live in one of his closets in his dingy three-room apartment. Les constantly tells Toby not to touch his stuff as he tutors him in the business.
In between a couple of strange jobs with laugh-out-loud funny business, Les and Toby twice encounter K’Harma (Alison Lohman), a pretty, young blonde pop star whose boyfriend just left her. Toby is completely smitten by her, and, at the music awards show, he abandons Les to go off with K’Harma and her entourage so that the press doesn’t think she’s despondent about her old boyfriend. K’Harma likes Toby too and invites him to her private birthday party the next night.
Les cajoles Toby into taking Les to the party, but Toby makes Les promise not to take any photos there. Les breaks his promise, however. This creates a comical chain of surprising events that drives Les to consider making a fatal mistake.
The cast in DELIRIOUS delivers the goods. Despite his obscenity-laced speech, the character of Les, as played by Buscemi, is one of the great comical inventions in recent years. Toby’s character (played by Pitt) makes a perfect contrast because Toby is mostly just a sweet, innocent young kid who wants to help people but sometimes gets into trouble because of his limited attention span or lack of focus.
Regrettably, the sweetness in Toby’s character is disrupted when, after he has publicly confessed his unrequited love for K’Harma, Toby lets himself be seduced by the older female casting director who has taken him under her wing. This nearly derails the movie’s uplifting ending. Ultimately, it is this scene and the movie’s strong, abundant foul language that really go over the line according to MOVIEGUIDE®’s moral standards. Yet, despite these and other moral problems, the story’s primary thrust is to extol kindness and integrity, and to rebuke envy and revenge. Eventually, Les must decide whether or not to overcome the baser sides of his nature. The great final shot of his face shows that, for once, Les has been able to overcome his angry cynicism.