LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Chuck Barris is a funny man. Not funny "ha, ha" funny strange. In his memoir Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: An Unauthorized Biography, he tells a tall tale of being recruited by the CIA, while he is producing The Dating Game. Anyone who believes this is just the mark Barris is looking for. However, it does make for a decent movie. George Clooney in his directorial debut has adapted Barris' tome to the big screen.
Barris is portrayed as a perverse young man who can't find a woman to have sex with. He's working as a page at NBC when he strikes on the idea for The Dating Game. About the same time, the CIA starts recruiting him as an assassin.
Barris leads the life of a game show assassin. The thrill of murder is as much a rush to him as winning the date is to Bachelor Number Three (who turns out to be a Russian spy). How anyone could take this story as fact beats me. It is parody, perhaps so good that reports believe it.
As for Clooney's direction, it's not bad at all. He's done a great job setting the era with lighting and even his choice of film stock.
Sam Rockwell has absolutely been lost in the part of Barris. It's difficult to play a part when we've all seen the person you're portraying. We saw Barris as the host of The Gong Show. We have expectations. Rockwell comes through.
This is a very enjoyable film. It is grim in places, it is funny in others. (The bit about early episodes of The Dating Game that couldn't be aired had me in stitches.) It keeps your attention. It's worth seeing. Just don't believe this is a re-creation of fact.
Directed by George Clooney
Released in 2002
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo