Thursday, June 26, 2008
Toby (Michael Pitt) had been living for awhile off the street. He is running away from some sort of abuse when he meets Les (Steve Buscemi). Les is a papparazzi and at first wants no part of Toby. Soon Les likes having a guy to talk to and brag a bit about his work when in reality Les is just barely getting by. So Toby becomes Les's assistant on a job working the "Music Awards." Toby gets caught up in an entourage of popstar K'harma (Alison Lohman) and soon the two strike up a relationship. Toby finds his friendship tested as he wants to follow his love, while not losing his best friend.
Mostly this is the same song and dance about a loser who find someone who looks up to him. Toby has no other friends so he looks past the parasitic nature of his collarboration with Les. A talent director (Gina Gershon) soon "discovers" Toby on the basis of his tryst with K'harma. The story takes a dark turn later... that maybe doesn't completely jive with the tone of the earlier film. It seems from the convo with writer/director Tom DiCillo and Buscemi accompanying the film might shed some light on that. Some of the script was toned down and perhaps that is why it comes out of nowhere.
DiCillo and Buscemi first collaborated in Living in Oblivion back in the early 90's which was the toast of film fests everywhere. He has since whiffed on many a fastball with the failures of The Real Blonde and Double Whammy. Clearly DiCillo knows what is ripe for satire in show business. The problem with Delirious is that the jokes aren't all that funny and doesn't go for the jugular. Buscemi has just done something similar with Interview - which takes on a budding actress being interviewed by a "real" journalist.
What really works for Delirious is the cast. Buscemi is always spot on so put that aside. Michael Pitt and Alison Lohman are both at the top of the list in terms of good young actors. They both can bring a realness to the characters that you just do not get with most of the souless names coming out of Hollywood. Both Pitt in The Dreamers and Lohman in Where the Truth Lies, have staked their claim in the role of serious actors. Here they get the tone of the film and try to give more than the perfunctory performance called for from the script. You actually want these two people to end up with each other.