- Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Adrien Brody
- Written by
- Charlie Day
- Directed by
- Charlie Day
- Run Time
- 1h 37min
- Release Date
- May, 12th, 2023
You could make a fair argument that there are enough people in the world who love to talk. Even though there are people who could get through a lot of situations without saying a word. The best case scenario is that you fall into some good fortunes, like being a dead ringer for a movie star, who just happens to not want to shoot his role that day, because he is being a jerk. That indeed is a very specific situation, but that is the foundation of Charlie Day’s directorial debut Fool’s Paradise.
We find this mystery man (Charlie Day) sitting in a hospital as one doctor explains to another the things that are wrong with him. Hospitals though are for profit and since the state won’t pay for the man’s care, he is put on a bus and sent away. As he lands in downtown L.A. he wanders around, but when a man, we can assume is a movie producer (Ray Liotta) is finding out his star is being difficult, he spots the mystery man and tells him to get in the car. It seems this man looks exactly like his star and decides he should just shoot with him in order for him to finish the day’s shooting. Things happen, like the star dying, and the mystery man is given a name of Latte Pronto and somehow has become Hollywood’s next big star. With the help of a down on his luck publicist named Larry (Ken Jeong), Latte sees the highs and lows of being a star, all without saying a word and quite frankly never really knowing what is going on most of the time. All of this sets up a whirlwind of a time for Latte, and for us the viewers, we get to see a performance that is pretty fantastic.
Written and directed by Day, Fool’s Paradise is really a tour de force for the star as he takes on the Hollywood scene. This part of the story is where some of the problems come from, as the movie really has nothing new to say or add any fresh humor. With that said I still enjoyed the throwback to the silent film days, when comedy was as simple as knocking over a table with your feet, something done a few times in Fool’s Paradise. There are plenty of stars who lend their talent to Day’s film, including Jason Sudeikis, Edie Falco, John Malkovich, Kate Beckinsale and Adrien Brody, who all do well enough to support Day with his passion project.
Fool’s Paradise has its problems, but Day’s performance is enough to carry you through the film’s 90 minute runtime. I wish he would have tried to say more than point out the shallow nature of Hollywood, as that has been done often and better in other films. Besides Day, the other stand out performance is Jeong, who does his best to make you cringe a little with his “only out for me” portrayal of Larry the publicist. For me there is enough laughs here and I do love me a good Hollywood satire, and even though this one is not the best, it’s entertaining with its heart in the right place.