by Rachel Petzinger
“I need Crazy Eyes!” Zach (Lukas Haas) drunkenly shouts multiple times throughout Adam Sherman’s new film, “Crazy Eyes.”
Why he so desperately needs Rebecca (Madeline Zima), a woman he loves who happens to have dark, mysterious eyes, is never quite explained in the movie. Wealthy and womanizing Zach has it all, but what he really seeks is Rebecca, a poor, troubled young woman, who, despite his countless efforts, always refuses.
Each night, after her constant rejections, Zach goes to his local bar, gets drunk, and finds a different woman to sleep with. We can understand the monotony of Zach’s life, but unfortunately for the audience, it becomes terribly rote and unbearable.
For instance, when Zach believes that taking Rebecca on a trip to New York will get her to sleep with him, he finds that, as always, this is not the case. Despite the magic of Manhattan and the glorious scenery, “Crazy Eyes” continues to drag on with the same awful repetitiveness of Rebecca rejecting Zach, and Zach finding another girl to sleep with.
In fact, the only real sense of conflict does not come from “Crazy Eyes” herself, but rather everything that doesn’t have to do with her—like Zach’s recent divorce, his 5-year-old son, or his father who recently suffered from a stroke. It is a shame that Rebecca is at the center of the film, when her character carries no weight or stakes at all.
Despite the movie’s misguided structure, the ending at least feels true to the story, making the journey at least somewhat worthwhile. It seems that “Crazy Eyes’” biggest obstacle is in its pacing and lack of tension. But the director does a fine job of creating the atmosphere of Zach’s world, and making the emotions feel very real, especially during the heartfelt discussions with his young son.
On a final note, even though they are playing a couple in a fractured relationship, Haas and Zima have great onscreen chemistry. Haas, as always brings a unique charm to his character, and while the script may not be captivating, his performance certainly is.
Rachel Petzinger is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.