Crazy in Alabama (1999)

CRAZY IN ALABAMA is a curious curio.  Antonio Banderas (!) directs
this half 'n' half period drama starring Melanie Griffith as a rur-
al-raised, mother-of-seven who heads for Hollywood after axing her
abusive husband.  (Actually, she uses an electric carving knife...
to cut off his head.)  Her oldest and next-to-oldest boys-- one of
whom is played by Lucas Black (SLING BLADE)-- are handed off to her
married-without-children, funeral home-living brother (David Morse).
There, they become embroiled in a segregation stink involving a red-
neck sheriff (Meat Loaf), a whites-only public pool, and the not-so-
accidental death of a black boy that enrages (some of) the commun-
ity.  [Insert reliably distressing footage of peaceful protesters 
versus not-so-peaceful police officers.]  Thus are the two threads
in this flip-flopping film, with Black's character narrating while
Banderas cuts back and forth between his wife's road movie and the 
unfolding civil rights drama back home.

More interesting for the Odd Factor (OF) than anything else-- hey, 
it kept *me* awake till midnight on a school night!-- CIA also stars
a shrill Cathy Moriarty as Morse's character's wife, a Rob Lowe-im-
personating-Robert Wagner-sounding Robert Wagner as a silky smooth
Hollywood agent, and ol' reliable Rod Steiger as the requisite Col-
orful Southern Judge who brings in all home at the end.  Don't know
that I'd recommend even paying *half*-price to get CRAZY, but, still,
it *is* the only one out there that features everything from a sever-
ed head in a hat bag (that talks to its handler!) to an elaborate re-
creation of the "Bewitched" television set!  Plus fainting cops, 
stalking limo drivers, emergency eye surgery, Paul Mazursky in a cam-
eo, "These Boots Are Made For Walking" over the title credits, and 
close-up after close-up after close-up of Griffith's enormous lips.

Grade: C+

Copyright 1999 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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