Now more than ever people seek fame no matter how dubious the means. Social media and reality television have blurred the lines between fame and infamy. The new comedy from director Paul Jarrett, Crazy Famous, wonders just how far someone would go in order to achieve fame. It’s a low budget indie with an interesting premise but fails to take its premise beyond its interesting setup.
Bob Marcus (Gregory Lay) has been seeking fame since his youth, groomed by his parents to seek stardom in acting and sports only to come up short at each turn. His big scheme to achieve fame in his adulthood is to nakedly climb the fence at Camp David, hoping his streaking in the vicinity of the president will put him in front of the cameras. Bob’s attempt to gain attention fall short as the president wasn’t at Camp David, and Bob finds himself in a mental institution for his desperate antics to achieve fame. Also within the confines of this institution is Smith (Richard Short), who is convinced he’s a spy tasked with assassinating Osama Bin Laden, whom he also affirms is not dead. Smith convinces Bob to join his escape plan, assuring him that aiding him in finishing his mission to kill Bin Laden will result in his long quest for fame. Bob convinces his fellow inmates Larry (Victor Cruz), a man with a volatile temper, and Dr. Phil (David Neal Levin), who is convinced he’s the television doctor, and the quartet of escaped inmates begin their quest to kill the world’s most infamous terrorist.
The concept of Crazy Famous as written by Bob Farkas has a number of interesting ideas, but this is definitely a case of a screenplay that needed a couple more passes to find the humor within the concept. The question as to whether or not Smith is just another delusional mental patient is answered too quickly, and it really robs the comedic hijinks of any suspense. More so, though, Crazy Famous could’ve used a bit more time to dive into the varying attempts of its lead and his crazed quest for notoriety. The rest of the characters are mostly kept a distance and the aspects of the story that are unique soon fall by the wayside in favor of a much more generic buddy road movie.
Crazy Famous is a well-intentioned comedy that never fully capitalizes on its concept. It’s efficient in its pacing and never wastes your time, but it underwhelms as it progresses because the laughs become fewer and fewer. As hard as the film tries to weave between genres of comedy and action, but the action is far more underwhelming than the comedy. Sometimes people will do crazy things in search of fame, such as filming a script that isn’t quite finished.
A fascinating premise of a crazy quest for fame, Crazy Famous takes an interesting concept only to lose sight of it as it diverges into more of a buddy spy comedy instead of a comedic examination of the unquenchable thirst for notoriety.