Breakfast of Champions
I think director Alan Rudolph has been watching too much television. If you're like Rudolph, it's likely that you've seen Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., saying nasty things about Geraldo Rivera, because his daughter used to be married to him. I mention this because the whole thing made Vonnegut look like a big bozo. I mean, if you raise your daughter and she chooses to marry Geraldo Rivera, then she's an idiot, and you're probably a poor excuse for a parent. Not the sort of thing I'd make public.
Anyway, were this the only impression I had of the man who wrote "Breakfast of Champions" I'd probably feel as little compunction about butchering an adaptation of his novel as did Alan Rudolph. This movie is so badly acted and directed that it would have improved its seriousness significantly by casting finger puppets in the major roles.
I don't even know how to explain it. I guess the film is about a world gone mad. It centers around car salesman Dwayne Hoover (Bruce Willis), who's about to kill himself, but doesn't. His wife (Barbara Hershey) is a basket case. His son (Lukas Haas) is a gay lounge singer. His assistant manager, Harry Le Sabre (Nick Nolte) dresses in women's clothing. In fact, the sole rationalization for sitting through this film would be to see Nick Nolte wearing lingerie. I mean, he could win ten Oscars between now and the time he dies, and reporters would still ask: "What the hell were you thinking when you did that?"
Rudolph and the actors give the film that same farcical tone one finds in excruciating sketch comedy, the kind that drones on for so long you start chewing on your own tongue to pass the time. That Alan Rudolph actually thought anybody would want to watch such a piece of trash is only his most obvious oversight.
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