A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
A movie like the dismal "Chapter 27" just makes you feel bad for, and about, everybody -- including the wretched souls who made the thing. It's bad enough that the creep who killed John Lennon didn't know what he was thinking when he did it. What about the people who made this movie about him?
You assume that at some point there was a script. After all, director J.P. Schaefer is credited with having written one, based on a book of interviews with Lennon's killer that was published in 1992. Schaefer probably read the book. Somebody probably read the script. There's a lot of writing in it: phony "Taxi Driver"-style narration, rambling and raging monologues, paraphrased passages from The Catcher in the Rye, spoken snippets of Beatles and Lennon lyrics. And it all revolves around one question: Why? As in, why make this movie? The film offers no clues, and reveals no answers.
Let's ask another question: Does the fact that a crazy person killed a famous person for no discernible reason make the killer any more interesting than he would otherwise have been? Answer: not necessarily. "Chapter 27" meticulously examines the scanty evidence and resoundingly confirms that conclusion. "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" reaches quite a different conclusion, portraying a weasel who's more fascinating than the outlaw he shoots. In this case, the subject isn't the problem, the movie is.
The killer of John Lennon was a sporadically suicidal misfit with a history of mental illness (sociopath and schizophrenic were among the diagnoses), a Catcher in the Rye fan who was outraged at the phoniness of the people around him, a former Beatlemaniac, a gun owner and a "born again" Christian who would occasionally became incensed when recalling things Lennon once said or sang, like the remark in 1966 about the Fab Four being more popular than Jesus at the time.