Sadly, for those of us who are weary of seeing the great Joh Candy in mediocre (or worse) movies, "Delirious" -- the summer's second feature-length soap-opera parody -- does not live up to its title.
Mr. Candy and his "SCTV" colleagues once starred in a weekly soap opera spoof called "The Days of the Week" that, although not consistently funny, frequently reached more delirious comic heights than anything in "Delirious."
The movie has its moments, though, beginning with a clever premise: A soap opera writer named Jack Gable (Mr. Candy) lusts after his show's bitch-queen, Laura (Emma Samms), who exploits his affection while carrying on an off-screen affair with her co-star, Dennis (David Rasche).
When Jack gets bumped on the noggin, he wakes up inside the fictitious daytime serial burgh of Ashford Falls, where all the characters he has created have become real. And, what's more, he discovers that he can change the course of this "reality" simply by writing new scripts on his typewriter.
The comic highlight of "Delirious" is a terpsichorean duet between Mr. Candy and Ms. Samms, choreographed to James Brown's "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World" and performed in front of a moonlit fountain. Unfortunately, the scene fades to black in mid-number.
There's a funny running gag about waiting for the cable TV repair guy, and all of the actors display flashes of comic inspiration.
Mr. Candy, of course, has the lion's share of them. The sight of him dancing in the dark, or riding a charging steed across a meadow, or drunkenly pecking out a script at his typewriter, or fighting off bad guys with the cocky air of a bulky James Bond, provides "Delirious" with the most memorable moments in a not-particularly-memorable movie.
Starring John Candy and Mariel Hemingway
Directed by Tom Mankiewicz.
Released by MGM.