Crazy in Alabama

Bomb Rating: 

If Alabama were some imaginary place in Antonio Banderas's head, this movie might be aptly titled. The story is set in the civil rights-era South of the 1960's. During that time, the film's young narrator, Peejoe (Lucas Black), witnesses the murder of a black boy at the hands of Sheriff John Doggett (Meat Loaf Aday). In classic Hollywood style, this whole storyline is sublimated so that we can follow the adventures of Peejoe's nutty Aunt Lucille (Melanie Griffith).

While Peejoe is dealing with civil rights, Aunt Lucille drives out to Hollywood to get on "Bewitched" while carrying the head of her late, abusive husband. Eventually, she's caught and returns to Alabama, where she's put on trial. So instead of the trial of the Sheriff, we get Aunt Lucille explaining why she killed her husband to a judge (Rod Steiger) who's nuttier than she is. I don't know what Banderas was thinking here -- probably the same thing he thought when it occurred to him that marrying Melanie might be a good idea.

This is sort of like doing a story about drunk clowns set in Auschwitz. We're supposed to learn something about freedom through the Melanie Griffith character. Unfortunately, the only thing I learned about freedom is this: Wear loose pants. I mean, for God's sake, what the hell has to fall out of this woman before somebody is going to stand up for what's right and explain to her that, at her age, it's inappropriate to be wearing pants that tight?

And another thing, Melanie: The collagen injections in your upper lip are broaching Frankensteinian proportions. Leave the fat in your ass where's it's happy. And Lucille is 34, but you're forty-whatever -- don't kid yourself about your range. Also, you've nailed ditzy like a bear swinging a sledge hammer at a thumbtack. Try for semi-ditzy. At least that way you'd be stretching your talents instead of your pants.

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