Mark Ruffalo's Directorial Debut, Sympathy for Delicious Needs More Magic, Less Magic DJ
An urban parable in the underlit indie tradition, Sympathy for Delicious treats sketchy, moribund storytelling as divine inspiration. First-time director Mark Ruffalo has assembled an exceptional castJuliette Lewis, Orlando Bloom, Laura Linney, um, Mark Ruffaloto surround writer and star Christopher Thornton, but a script that favors incident over story and direction that crowds scenes instead of letting them breathe make for curiously rough going. Former hipster DJ Dean ODwyer (Thornton) is a paraplegic who frequents the skids of Los Angeles, hoping, along with everyone under the jurisdiction of street priest Father Roselli (Ruffalo), to be saved. Dean is prickly and obscure, a Greenberg with actual problems. But in this L.A., hurt people heal people, and soon Father Roselli is pimping out Deans magical, health-restoring handsa neat trick discovered by accident, they help everyone but Deanto fill the church coffer. Disillusioned, Dean joins a band fronted by Bloom in slinky, sexy Jesus mode, and helps turn the bands club sets into revival meetings, with a fame-hungry healer as the central attraction. Without Lewis, who pockets the few scenes shes in with her absurd, exotic-bird dignity and Quaalude drone, not even Delicious D can save the film from its anti-climactic moral reckoning.
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