In the career of the great comedian John Candy, there were many hits and only a few misses. "Delirious" not only falls into the latter catagory, I'm not sure many have even heard of the picture, directed by Tom Mankiewicz and produced by "Lethal Weapon" director Richard Donner. Candy stars as Jack Gable, a writer for a successful soap opera called "Beyond Our Dreams". Angered when he finds that producers Lou (Jerry Orbach) and Arlene (a loud Renee Taylor) are messing with his stories and dismayed when he can't find romance with the show's lead, Jack heads home depressed.
When he gets into a car accident on the ride home, Jack wakes up in his own TV show. It's an interesting and even possibly excellent idea for a movie. Yet, "Delirious" really never realizes the potential of its plot. It's odd that the film attempted to go for a PG rating, when it's pretty much apparent that the whole business with soap operas would have pretty much no appeal whatsoever to anyone but an adult audience. The film really doesn't attempt to satire soap operas or do anything that ambitious; Candy's character simply is stuck in his own creation - rather than intelligent twists, we get slapstick and light (but dull) comedy. There's a few little lines here and there that brought a smile (soon after he finds himself in his creation, Candy shouts to a character what the plot twists will be for her character for the season), but these instances are few-and-far-between. Some lines and situations would have worked better if they were played with better timing and comic sensibility - the movie underlines some jokes a bit too much, becoming rather wink-wink, nudge-nudge with the audience.
It's certainly not that Candy doesn't try. Even when he was obviously stuck with poor material, Candy threw himself into his roles like few other comedic actors. Here, his hard-sell approach to the jokes is appreciated, but it doesn't help the material, which might have been helped by an energetic, but understated approach. The other actors aren't particularly memorable - the only one besides Candy who seems like they're enjoying themselves is an accident-prone actress played by Mariel Hemmingway.
I waited impatiently for "Delirious" to go somewhere, but it never really did. While it's a somewhat inspired concept for the Candy character to start writing himself out of the situations in the soap opera world, these twists became repetitive and never really generated much in the way of laughs or even general interest. Someone may want to consider giving this plot another try, as it'd work far better as a dark, PG-13/R comedy than light, sunny PG-fare.
VIDEO: MGM presents "Delirious" in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and pan & scan editions - each takes up its own side of the dual-sided, single-layered disc. The picture quality is slightly above what MGM's catalog presentations usually offer. Sharpness and detail are passable, as the picture appeared moderately well-defined, but not crisp enough to be "sharp" and not soft enough to be distracting.
The picture consistently presented minor or minimal flaws. Slight grain was often noticable and although the print didn't appear as worn as I'd expect from a film of its age, there were still a fair amount of specks and marks. Edge enhancement and a few traces of pixelation were very infrequently spotted, as well. Colors were decently presented, appearing slightly bland and faded.
SOUND: The 2.0 soundtrack is servicable, with the music sounding fairly rich and dynamic for a 12-year-old picture. Being a comedy, there's little else going on, though. Dialogue manages to sound fairly crisp and clear.
MENUS: As with most of MGM's titles, the menus are bare basics.
EXTRAS: The trailer.
Final Thoughts: Great concept, not-so-great film. "Delirious" is really dissapointing, considering the concept could have gone much, much farther had it been approached a different way. MGM's DVD is not unusual for its catalog titles; it offers decent audio/video and next-to-nothing in the way of supplements.