review by Bobby Blakey
I love films taking on Hollywood itself in different ways. Even more so I like seeing actors making the transition to bringing their own visions to life on film. The latest, Fool’s Paradise stars Charlie Day who is also making his debut as writer and director. The film features a great cast including Ken Jeong, Kate Beckinsale, Adrien Brody, Jason Sudeikis, Edie Falco, Jason Bateman, Common, Jillian Bell, John Malkovich and Ray Liotta in one of his final films. Could this film bring the laughs and foolishness or will it leave the audience silent?
Fool’s Paradise follows a down on his luck publicist, who gets his lucky break when he discovers a man recently released from a mental health facility looks just like a method actor who refuses to leave his trailer. With the help of a powerful producer, the publicist helps the man become a huge star, even marrying his beautiful leading lady. Their adventures lead them to cross paths with drunken costars, irreverent unhoused action heroes, unpredictable directors, super-agent, and power-mad moguls. Fame and fortune are not all they're cracked up to be, and the two men must fight their way back to the things that matter the most.
I knew nothing other than the poster of this movie and the outstanding cast involved so was excited to see what Charlie Day had put together for his first time directing project. It is a crazy and fun flick that brings elements of the silent movie into the present day Hollywood chaos in a unique way. The story is pretty simple and over the top at times, but works to just great enough to get you invested in this silly journey.
Day plays a couple of roles here, outside of directing, with the main being completely silent throughout it all. He does such a great job conveying the emotions, confusion, sadness and fun with expression that really gets him the time to shine like never before in my opinion. He is always funny, but this is just something different and works way more than it probably should.
The great supporting cast all look like they are having a blast with their roles getting to just cut loose. There are a few of them that are more cameos, but most of them all get some hefty fun parts to play with and it just makes the film work more than it might have with lesser knowns. It plays into the Hollywood setting without trying to be the usual world we know and love.
I went into this film hoping for some fun and left with something more than I thought. It’s breaking down any walls in comedy or anything, but it is a great flick that stands out with its choices and execution as well as a well done debut for Day in the director’s seat. Looking forward to see what else he has up his sleeve in the future, but until then this is a comedy worthy of paradise.
Decide for yourself and check out Fool’s Paradise in theaters now from Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate.