I managed to avoid 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' until recently. While I enjoy watching occasional re-runs of "The Gong Show" (and think that "Palisades Park" is a fun song), I never knew enough about Chuck Barris (host of the aforementioned game show, writer of the aforementioned song, and supposed CIA assassin) to feel compelled to watch a biopic about his life.
On top of this, there's the fact that I REALLY don't like George Clooney (director and co-star of 'Confessions'), nor do I particularly care for several of his co-stars in this film (and aside from those actors, I'm either "meh" on or have never heard of the rest of the cast). I try not to judge any film ENTIRELY by its cast; but if a movie is filled with actors I generally dislike watching (hello, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts), I'm probably not going to rush to go see it, either.
Still -- one day, not long ago, out of pure boredom (and lack of any other recent offerings on Netflix -- at least ones that jumped out at me that day) I decided to finally give 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' a try. Despite the less-than-appealing cast, I thought that the biographical/showbiz aspects of the movie might make it at least *somewhat* interesting.
I thought wrong.
Perhaps I was biased because of my dislike for so many of the actors; but 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' turned out to be one of the LEAST entertaining movies that I've ever seen!
To begin with, none of the actors did *anything* to change my opinion of them (if anything, I like Clooney even LESS after watching this movie than I did before).
As for Sam Rockwell (who plays Barris), I never really had an opinion of him one way or the other prior to watching this movie. However, I have to say that Rockwell's portrayal of Barris made him, too, slide a little closer to my "dislike" list -- at least for the time being (that said, since he didn't quite reach James Franco-in-'The Interview' level of horrendous, I suppose there's a chance that he could slide back to at least "meh" territory if he blows me away in some movie that I've yet to see. But for now, Rockwell's presence is more likely to make me avoid a film than to watch one.)
Speaking of Rockwell, I kept wanting him to put on some pants -- did we *really* have to see his naked rear end 967 times throughout the movie? Ugh.
And the other actors didn't fare much better than Clooney or Rockwell. Drew Barrymore seemed especially miscast (I tend to find her typical cutesy roles tiresome, but I certainly prefer her in those roles to whatever she was doing here); and Julia Roberts was beyond forgettable. Damon and Brad Pitt appear in a dumb (though thankfully brief) cameo that just seemed gimmicky.
(Fun fact: Rockwell and Barrymore -- who play "lovers" in 'Confessions' -- later appeared as brother and sister in the 2009 film 'Everybody's Fine'... in my opinion, a MUCH better movie.)
The characters in 'Confessions' were even less appealing than the actors portraying them; I wasn't invested in a single character throughout the film. The only conclusion I came to about Chuck Barris after watching 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' is that I hope his life -- controversial or not -- was at least more INTERESTING than this movie made it out to be.
A dreary and incredibly dull film overall, which felt like it went on for FAR too long despite an average running length -- perhaps not the worst movie that I've seen, but definitely in my Bottom 50 (and possibly even in my Bottom 25). (1/10)