Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 37m
Director(s): Charlie Day
Writer(s): Charlie Day
Cast: Charlie Day, Ken Jeong, Kate Beckinsale, Adrien Brody, Jason Sudeikis, Edie Falco, Jason Bateman, Common, Jillian Bell, Dean Morris, Jimmi Simpson, Ray Liotta, John Malkovich
Where To Watch: releasing theatrically on May 12, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Strap in for a journey into the heart of Hollywood with FOOL'S PARADISE! In this cinematic escapade, Charlie Day steps up, not just as an actor but also as the writer and director, guiding us through the absurd and often hilarious realities of Tinseltown. Sadly, a combination of factors, including the pandemic, caused hiccups and delays, ultimately making the film feel less than it could have been. That isn’t to say you won’t enjoy it; there seem to be a few missed opportunities that make moments feel like afterthoughts.
In the lead role, Day presents us with Latte Pronto, a surprisingly quiet, perplexing, and endearing character who is plucked from the streets by an opportunist publicist (Ken Jeong) and a desperate film producer, played by the late Ray Liotta, Latte's quiet existence is turned upside down. Suddenly, he's the center of Hollywood's attention while navigating a blossoming romance with Christiana, played by Kate Beckinsale.
The genius of FOOL'S PARADISE lies in the ironic twist of its narrative: Day's character, who never utters a word, can captivate audiences and become a sensation in a clear homage to the days of silent film stars of Hollywood’s past (making the current WGA strike almost ironic.) Latte's bewildered innocence and enthusiastic joy add a unique flavor to the film, coming to a comedic crescendo that seems bigger than the film itself.
As the plot unravels, there's a hint of Latte being propelled into a political career, adding another layer to the complex universe he finds himself. Despite the whirlwind of events, Latte's cheerful demeanor remains constant, making him an endearing figure in a world that often feels too convoluted for him to understand.
FOOL'S PARADISE doesn't shy away from presenting the dark side of fame and the ethical difficulties that come with it. The narrative underscores the nature of success and the fickleness of fame in luxury and glamour.
In the grand scheme of things, FOOL'S PARADISE is a toned-down journey through the maze of Hollywood, led by Latte's charm and the comedic timing of Charlie Day. Day's unique storytelling style and acting skills present an experience that almost puts humor in the back seat at times to poke at its parody and self-referential nature.
The narrative trajectory traces Latte's rapid rise in the unpredictable world of fame and luxury. Jeong continues to deliver his solid, almost predictable character role feeling almost cliche by this point. The saving grace of the film is that it has an important message that it tells, even as it struggles to find its footing. Interestingly, the segments from IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA come from the crack writing team behind the series ventures into their projects.
FOOL'S PARADISE is a tender homage to silent film stars like Charlie Chaplin, evoking a time when expressions spoke louder than words. Day's character, Latte, encapsulates this spirit, demonstrating that silence can often say more than words ever could.
In current news, Day appeared at the FOOL’S PARADISE premiere — which he wrote, directed, and stars in — on Tuesday the 9th in Los Angeles, but after stopping to take photos, he skipped the entire press line. Several reporters begged Day to come to do interviews as he replied, “I wish I could!” and proceeded to stand off to the side with his team for the remainder of the carpet. This is in response to standing with the WGA (Writers Guild of America) and their current strike. He is an active member with his recent writing credits on IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILIDELPHIA.
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