You love Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. Of course you do. A sequel will never EVER happen, but what if there was another movie pairing Herman Blume (Bill Murray) & Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams), but instead of them being Herman Blume & Rosemary Cross, they were FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt? What if I told you that this movie ALSO included hand jobs (but spankfully not ones given to or from Eleanor Roosevelt)? Well, that’s sorta what Roger Michell‘s Hyde Park On Hudson is, with some FDR cousin (Laura Linney) loving & royal visiting from those blokes from The King’s Speech (Bertie stuttered here by Samuel West & the not so mum Queen mum by Olivia Colman) tossed in. This movie is barely a movie, as the plot is basically whether or not the King of England will eat a hot dog or not, but this barely movie is totally watchable, cause Billy Murray as FDR getting mad action while not being able to use his legs is totally watchable. Doesn’t that sound totally watchable?
We don’t go into directorial debuts by actors with a roll of the eyes, we go in with eyes wide open (we actually do that with every movie now), cause who knows, maybe they’ve got talent… or maybe they should juss stick to their day job. Clint Eastwood remains the pacesetter. Even actors we can’t stand like George Clooney have proven more than capable. Even someone like Madonna, who isn’t much of an actress, gave it a shot, and while most loathed her Filth & Wisdom, we found it lithe & not so dumb! So why shouldn’t Mark Ruffalo give it a go? He knows acting, and always seems to pick good movies to be in (uh, Zodiac?), so why not????
Ruffalo’s Sympathy for Delicious may have an awful name, but it is not awful. It’s not exactly delicious either, but it certainly has a taste! It’s a good ole first try, and a promising sign of Ruff’s skill in the director’s chair, but ultimately its a mess of holy ideals, backed up by a band no one would want to rock out to. The script, about a overly bitter homeless wheelchair-bound man named ‘Delicious’ Dean O’Dwyer (oh, it’s HIS sympathy, eh?) who one day realizes he has the ability to heal others, is inspired, especially since it was written and lead performed by wheelchaired Christopher Thornton, but it aims a lil too high for a film that can’t fully back up its sermon. A priest (Ruffalo) and rock group (headed by a too-over the top Orlando Bloom, backed-up by a too Juliette Lewisish Juliette Lewis, and managed by a too greasy Laura Linney) both take advantage of his unwanted gift for their own ends, and if you’ve ever seen Tommy, you know this won’t exactly end heavenly. So Ruffles couldn’t make a delicious modern Tommy, but he tried and he didn’t fail, and for that, we can sorta take it
Noah Emmerich co-stars as a fellow ironsider, and besides Thorton and Ruffalo, he totally hits his marks. He’s so good at playing a sad sack in an ugly sweater, which should not be confused with ugly nutsacks in a sad sweater
The Wheel Deal: Larry David has never had luck when dealing with the handicap on Curb, and especially those in wheelchairs. here’s a memorable altercation with Mr Thorton over the Cobb salad
Verdictgo: Sum Merit But No Stinkin Badges
Delicious isn’t eggggzactly so in NY & LA theaters AND on VOD this Friday
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