Review: ‘Delirious’

Delirious is a witless comedy about soap operas in which the estimable John Candy mugs uncomfortably through a desperately unfunny script with a plot as tediously convoluted as those it spoofs.

Delirious is a witless comedy about soap operas in which the estimable John Candy mugs uncomfortably through a desperately unfunny script with a plot as tediously convoluted as those it spoofs.

Candy, as the head writer of a show called Beyond Our Dreams, has an unrequited crush on the overripe star (Emma Samms), a clone of Joan Collins’ Alexis character on Dynasty. Mooning over Samms, who plays a treacherous and sluttish character both on and off the set, Candy naturally overlooks the true girl of his dreams, aspiring actress Mariel Hemingway.

A bump on the head sends Candy into a Twilight Zone like reverie in which he finds himself trapped in the fictional small-town setting of his show and inhabiting the character of a Wall Street shark involved with both Samms and Hemingway.

Resemblances to the overly imitated It’s a Wonderful Life abound in Ashford Falls, a combination of studio backlot and Southern California locations that looks more like the setting for a primetime soap than a daytimer. Lighting, by Robert Stevens, is in the emptily glitzy style of a wine commercial.

Delirious

Production

M-G-M/Star Partners III. Director Tom Mankiewicz; Producer Lawrence J. Cohen, Fred Freeman, Doug Claybourne; Screenplay Lawrence J. Cohen, Fred Freeman; Camera Robert Stevens; Editor William Gordean, Tina Hirsch; Music Cliff Eidelman; Art Director Angelo Graham

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

John Candy Mariel Hemingway Emma Samms Raymond Burr Robert Wagner David Rasche
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