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Meat Loaf's In Search of Paradise

Overflowing with Chris Farley proportions

Dennis Quaid and Meat: This is a harbinger of the documentary's identifiable low point.
Dennis Quaid and Meat: This is a harbinger of the documentary's identifiable low point.

Staggeringly inessential if never unwatchable, In Search of Paradise offers a backstage pass to the first leg of Meat Loaf's 2007 "Seize the Night" tour. The 59-year-old septillion-platinum star dutifully pushes a new album by disinterring the back catalog and lumbering back onstage (wearing . . . a Chargers jersey with a collared shirt underneath) to shake his jowls at hockey coliseums packed with sozzled Canucks. That Mr. Loaf has been a potent showman is little evidenced by anything shown of his traveling floorshow here (advised viewing is The Old Grey Whistle Test DVD, in which a ’70s-vintage Meat, of overflowing Chris Farley proportions, duets with Carla DeVito on an epic, exhausting “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”). The non-conflict that develops into the backbone of the doc is the "controversial" current staging of “Paradise,” in which he’s dry-humped by a petite backup singer. "I think Meat thrives on taking big risks creatively," attests the obligatorily admiring co-star, regarding his inspiration to do the number in a throwback longhair wig. Cranky Loaf gulps his vitamins and makes a show of forbearing the shooting of this puff piece (an interviewee earnestly likens him to Falstaff and Cyrano). Identifiable low point: Dennis Quaid coming onstage to totally dork it up during a rendition of "Gloria."

 
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