Sharp, funny, and unreasonably compelling. Did you know that Chuck Barris, the rabbit-toothed mogul who created The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, and The Gong Show, was also a hitman for the CIA? The oddball fascination of this adaptation of Barris’ autobiography is that it treats his absurd claim of a double life in trash TV and espionage as a story so strange, so beyond the pale of what even a huckster like Barris would dare to make up, that it could, maybe, just possibly be true. The young actor Sam Rockwell works up a disarming sympathy for this frantic hustler, and the movie, nimbly directed by George Clooney, plays as an ironic pop biopic whose subject is trivially off-center enough to make Ed Wood or Bob Crane look like Gandhi.
Genre: Drama, Comedy; Starring: Drew Barrymore, Sam Rockwell, George Clooney, Rutger Hauer, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Fred Savage; Director: George Clooney; Author: Charlie Kaufman; Producer (person): Andrew Lazar, Steven Soderbergh; Release Date Wide: 12/27/2002; Runtime (in minutes): 113; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Miramax
Posted January 17 2003 — 12:00 AM EST
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