Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Another unadaptable book successfully adapted by--you guessed it--Charlie Kaufman. This time, it's the "unauthorized autobiography" of Chuck Barris (or, as Mad magazine dubbed him, Chuck M. Barris), in which the gnomish TV mogul claims that while he was busy creating such indelible Americana as The Newlywed Game and The Gong Show he was also assassinating enemies of freedom on behalf of the CIA. The screenplay, fabulously, takes Barris at his word and presents his cloak-and-daggery without quotation marks or parentheses, and this trick pays off, mostly, until all the espionage grows kind of tiresome. The splendid Sam Rockwell plays Barris with uncommon nerve and compassion--he makes Barris a sympathetic schmuck. Freshman director and co-star George Clooney has been accused of overdirecting here--of showing off--which sounds kind of like complaining about "too many notes."