“Delirious,” review by Susan Granger

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Aimed at a hip, sophisticated audience, this satiric fable from independent filmmaker Tom DiCillo (“Living in Oblivion,” “The Real Blonde”) reveals the soft, subversive underbelly of contemporary celebrity and glitzy fame. DiCillo wrote the leading role of the frustrated, insecure, self-absorbed paparazzo specifically for actor Steve Buscemi.

Living in oblivious squalor in New York, garrulous Les Galatine (Buscemi) befriends Toby (Michael Pitt), a hunky, good-natured aspiring actor whom he teaches the ‘stakeout’ ropes (“Im not paparazzi! I’m a licensed professional!”) and allows to crash in his shabby, lower East Side pad which doubles as office/living space.

At a Soap Stars Against STD Convention, Toby charms a sexy casting director (Gina Gershon) and launches an unlikely romance with a talentless teen sexpot named K’harma (Alison Lohman), who was ditched by her British boyfriend Jace (Richard Short). Surrounded by a couple of fawning assistants, K’harma is a wannabe singer who is famous for being famous – like Paris/Nichole/Lindsay crossed with Britney – even inveigling Elvis Costello to show up as one of her trendy party guests. While Les feeds at the freebie buffet trough, stashes away gift bags and tries – in vain – to connect with his parents (Doris Belack, Tom Aldredge) in New Jersey, Toby gets his big break photographing a reality show featuring a homeless serial killer.

DiCillo gleefully, yet surprisingly sympathetically, skewers the sycophantic entertainment press – from battling rival publicists to eccentric bottom-feeders. While young Michael Pitt (“Dawson’s Creek”) is disarming, Steve Buscemi delivers a career-defining performance – and they share the movie’s most memorable moments. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Delirious” is a hilariously shallow, sleazy 7. It’s one of those savvy, low-budget crowd-pleasers that arrive in local theaters only via film festivals like San Sebastian and Sundance.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.