Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
Clooney Plays a Weird Story Straight Up
What if the creator and host of two of the 1970s biggest and lamest
television game shows was also a part-time CIA hitman? That he used The
Dating Game and The Gong Show as a cover to stage assassinations in the
netherworld of Cold War espionage. Ridiculous you'd say. But that's what
exactly what Chuck Barris claims in his autobiography, and Charlie Kaufman
accepts carte blanche as the premise for his screenplay. The film plays it
straight up as if Barris were telling the truth.
Can Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter, and George Clooney, the director pull
it off? Mostly. It is competently acted by Sam Rockwell as Barris, Julia
Roberts as a fellow spy, Drew Barrymore as his love interest, and director
George Clooney as his CIA recruiter and handler. The bizarre landscape, a
marriage of television and espionage, is presented without a smirk or wink.
If Barris is telling the truth, this is what it must have been like. It's an
interesting idea, and Clooney and Kaufman have taken it and crafted an