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"Crazy Eyes": Why They Don't Get Drunk and Screw 

Wednesday, Jul 11 2012

We first encounter the subject of Crazy Eyes' character study mixing his drinks while damning the glittering void of L.A. from the privileged vantage of premium real estate. A trust fund Bukowski who resembles the lost Carradine brother, Zach (Lukas Haas) fritters away his paid-in-full life by drinking and womanizing. "I can't remember how many girls I'm messing with right now," goes a typical bit of voiceover, displaying the veteran alcoholic's usual self-aggrandizement with a self-disgust chaser. The messing around—if not the smugly world-weary narration—is put on hold with the arrival of Rebecca (Madeline Zima), a fellow barfly whom Zach nicknames "Crazy Eyes." (Jake Busey, the bartender at their regular, meanwhile slips off with every scene he's in.) Rebecca exercises an ever-stronger hold on Zach as they spend a holiday season's worth of nights together, nights invariably ending with her strenuously resisting what Zach terms his "strugglefuck" attempts at consummation, her resistance in contrast to his usual line of eager gold diggers. Along with the delayed fulfillment, a running joke is made of Zach and Rebecca's inability to get it together sufficiently to make it to a Hieronymus Bosch exhibit—the idea being to liken nightlife to purgatory, though the exuberant editing and puke-into-the-camera edginess indicate a film more interested in boasting of hell-raising than in exorcising it.

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Nick Pinkerton


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