It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Bill Kurtis does not actually narrate the documentary "Crazy Love" -- nobody does. But if you're familiar with Kurtis (the ubiquitous television true-crime producer and host of "American Justice" and "Cold Case Files" on A&E, former WBBM-Channel 2 Chicago news anchor, and narrator of "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy"), then you'll have an idea of what kind of movie "Crazy Love" is. It looks like it was ready-made for cable, or one of those "Dateline"/ "20/20"/"48 Hours" magazine shows about bizarre crimes of passion and perverse relationships.
The French have a term for it: l'amour fou -- mad love, obsessional love, the kind of love that may not be love at all but some kind of all-consuming passion as powerful as a narcotic addiction.
That appears to be what possessed 32-year-old lawyer/playboy/Arnold Stang lookalike Burt Pugach almost from the moment he set eyes on beautiful 20-year-old Linda Riss in the Bronx on Rosh Hoshanah, 1957. Burt pursued her relentlessly until ... Let's put it this way: Something terrible happened between them in 1959. But that wasn't the end. Other landmarks in their relationship (if you can call what passed between them a "relationship") occurred in 1962, 1974, 1996 and 1997. Don't ask. The fun and fascination of the movie, if you don't already remember the tabloid headlines about Burt and Linda, is wondering what could possibly have happened next. But if you're paying attention to the movie, a painting that appears in the background of certain key interviews will give you a pretty good clue.
"Crazy Love" begins in a blur with some kind of unspecified traumatic, and presumably violent, event and then circles back upon itself. It keeps circling for its first half -- around questions of sex and psychopathology -- until its digressions begin to feel like padding. Just when something provocative is touched upon, the movie changes subject and only returns to pick up the previously discarded thread when another one peters out. You may feel like you're being toyed with, and you are. A less coy and dilly-dallying approach would have given this twisted tale more momentum -- and, probably, have generated more suspense in the telling.