Delirious

delirious_john_candy_movieYear: 1991

Synopsis: Writer Jack Gable (John Candy) mysteriously finds himself in an alternate reality that happens to be his own soap opera, and soon finds he can use his typewriter to play God — typos, irregularities, and all.

Pros:
• An effective send up of Soap Operas.
• It takes good acting to intentionally over act so badly.
• John Candy makes the film quite fun.
• The party scene written by a drunk Jack is constant hilarity.
• The whole films seems more like a metaphor for the arguments among producers and writers, who can be one in the same.
• The film’s themes are all very familiar, but come together well enough.

Cons:
• Almost too absurdist at times.
• Might not work for those that haven’t watched soaps, and slow decline of the genre since the 1990s certainly would make the issues worse.

Discussion:
Although the film is superficially a send up of the soap opera brand, it is really more of a light hearted Twilight Zone (1959-1964) story. Indeed, the “A World of His Own” episode follows a writer that appears to have control over the Twilight Zone itself. At the same time, “story within a story” is not uncommon: Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Pleasantville (1998), among others. That does not mean those are overused tropes, because they can be used in a variety of ways, including together. Assuming the absurdist comedy is palatable and understandable, Delirious makes the themes work fairly well. It also helps that actors like Emma Samms is better know as a soap star. This is the kind of fantastical film that keeps us laughing at the overly serious and ourselves.


Rotten Tomatoes — 44%

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