A Fine Madness is offbeat, and downbeat, in many ways. Too heavyhanded to be comedy, yet too light to be called drama, the well-mounted production depicts a non-conformist poet-stud in an environment of much sex, some violence and modern headshrinking. Fine direction and some good characterizations enhance negative script outlook.
Sean Connery is a virile, headstrong poet, hung up in a dry spell of inspiration. He despises women in general, and to hammer home this point, all femme characters, except second wife Joanne Woodward, are shrews, battle-axes, or shallow broads.
Overdue back alimony cues an outburst, eventually leading Connery to psychiatric care, alternating with a running chase from the fuzz, and climaxed by a curiously ineffective brain lobotomy. A lot of sophisticated throwaway dialog is dispensed along with sight gags and slapstick.
Director Irvin Kershner has drawn effective performances from Connery, who makes a good comic kook in a switch from the somnambulism of his James Bond roles, and Woodward, almost unrecognizable in face and voice via a good characterization of the loud-mouthed, but loving, wife, done in the Judy Holliday style. Jean Seberg, bored wife of headshrinker Patrick O’Neal, is okay.