It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
I wonder if they have a squad out in Hollywood named the Movie Police, who swoop down on screenplays and enforce all of the obligatory cliches and story formulas. Every once in a while you find a movie that has the spark of inspired craziness in it, that has a few scenes that tell you the people who made the movie were nutty but brilliant. And then, just when your hopes are beginning to stir - the Movie Police strike.
"Excuse me, sir. Movie Police here. Do you have a love story in this movie?" "Uh, afraid not. There's no need for one." "But who is the female lead?" "There isn't any." "And the heart-warming romantic conclusion?" "Are you kidding? This is a cynical satire about advertising." "And do you have a lot of lovable, huggable goofballs in supporting roles?" "Only the usual demented creative types who work in any ad agency." "Then I'm afraid you'll have to come down to the studio with us. What you've done is against . . . Movie Law!" Why do I get the feeling a scene like this was played at some point early in the history of "Crazy People"? Because the two halves of the movie fit together so uneasily.
On the one hand, we have Dudley Moore, a demented and crazed advertising genius who gets fed up with the hypocrisy of routine advertising and creates his own campaigns - campaigns that tell the literal, brutal, sacrilegious truth. On the other hand, we have a subplot involving his romance with a sweet girl he meets in an insane asylum, and, yes, there is a crowd of lovable, huggable goofballs who are vindicated in the relentlessly upbeat ending.
Moore plays Emory Leeson, ad man. Most of the unorthodox campaigns he creates for his clients can't be quoted here, because they deal in very direct sexual imagery. Let it be said, however, that many of the campaigns inspire loud and delighted laughter from the audience.