thatcow

Not So Dangerous

This is a biography/autobiography of Chuck Barris. Chuck is mostly known as the host of the Gong Show, but he is also the creator of the Dating Game, and the Newlywed Game. Chuck penned his autobiography to share his story. The same reason everyone publishes an autobiography. What is not clear is the veracity of the Chuck's recollection. Chuck unveils that outside of his paycheck to paycheck life, he was involved with the CIA as a hired assassin. This is not a spy story, nor is it a success story. Instead, Barris's story is mostly about survival. He leverages the success of one idea to get started on the next idea. For Barris, there is a sourness he cannot escape because the American public seems to simultaneously accept and criticize his contributions to TV. Barris mingles this dual life with dual affairs of the heart. On one hand he has the free spirit Penny (Drew Barrymore). On the other hand, he has his supposed CIA handler played by Julia Roberts.

George Clooney debuts as the director of this movie. He gets several Hollywood chums to help out with this as well taking a role himself. Matt Damon and Brad Pitt make cameo appearances. Drew and Julia provide their services at the base rate. I don't recall if anyone puts in a great performance.

Clooney chooses to shoot most of this film in over exposed and drab colors. It seems like a trick he might have picked up from the Coen brothers. The TV sequences are vibrant. However, mostly this film is held together by voice overs and structured vignettes without really weaving a complete story together.

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