Still Crazy is a boomer version of Hard Core Logo, which means it’s slightly less ironic, kinder to its characters and has a happy ending. This time the reuniting group is a British band called Strange Fruit, arena-rock kings in their ’70s heyday, now grizzled geezers ready to give it one more go.
This is a by-the-numbers comedy, expertly mixing exact measures of sentiment, drama and silliness. Director Brian Gibson is best known for What’s Love Got To Do With It, a show-biz bio with pacing as smoothly muscled as its star, Angela Bassett. Crazy’s narrative is a little less toned, but then so are its stars.
Strange Fruit broke up when its main songwriter and most charismatic member was killed in a freak accident – struck by lightning during an outdoor concert – and his brother, the lead guitarist, disappeared. One of the more subtle jokes here is that having lost their Ozzy, as it were, the remnants of the band think that people will still pay to see them.
The surviving members are all familiar stereotypes, and watching the actors get the most out of their clichéd characters is what makes the film worth seeing. The most audacious performance is by Bill Nighy as Ray, the band’s lead singer, an aging peacock whose face reflects every twitch of the schizzy battle going on inside him between his preening arrogance and his deep insecurity. Timothy Spall (a Mike Leigh veteran) is the egregiously proletarian drummer Beano, all flatulence and bad teeth, but a good guy to get drunk with – while Jimmy Nail plays Les the bassist, who’s actually the best singer in the group, but who never gets that coveted spot because, to put it bluntly, he looks like a bassist.
Anyway, the band reunites, quarrels, makes up, quarrels some more, until something supposedly unexpected happens and the audience is sent home with a warm glow somewhere slightly to the right of its spleen. Who could ask for more?
Richard C. Walls writes about the arts for Metro Times. E-mail him at email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.