Fool’s Paradise is a brilliant satire that will leave audiences with a smile on their face and perhaps even a tear in their eye.
I need to start off this review by saying that you would never know this movie is Charlie Day’s directorial debut. Sure, he has been in the industry a long time, and we all know that he is a talented man, but there are many brilliant decisions made throughout Fool’s Paradise, especially when it comes to the directing.
Now this film tells the story of a man (The Fool) who doesn’t talk, who is played by Charlie Day himself. Yes, he writes, directs, and stars — without missing a beat I might add. It immediately gave me Charlie Chaplin vibes, especially because of the physical gags. However it is sophisticated as well. It has some deep messages here that will have audiences connecting with The Fool.
When a down on his lucky publicist Lenny, portrayed by Ken Jeong, starts to represent The Fool, their worlds are both turned upside down. You see, The Fool looks just like an actor who is very difficult to work with, so the studio replaces him with this man. This kickstarts a career, and a life, that Lenny and The Fool will discover just might not be all it is cracked up to be.
Ken Jeong said it best when he stated during our interview that he gives his best performance ever. Lenny unexpectedly becomes the heart of the film. He isn’t the nicest of guys when we first meet him, but something about his relationship with The Fool changes him. These two have an unmatched chemistry on screen, and viewers will instantly be rooting for them both.
At just over an hour and a half, Fool’s Paradise flies by. It is easy to immediately become invested in the main character, and find a love for him. He is almost like a child, going through life doing whatever he is told. He is funny, like belly laughing funny, in a way that we haven’t seen on the screen in a while.
But what really works with this movie is that it is filled with emotion and heart as well. There are several times throughout it where you might catch yourself tearing up, and if you haven’t shed a tear by the end, you must not have been paying attention.
Then, to top it all off, the cast list for Fool’s Paradise is absolutely insane. The fact that all of these incredibly brilliant humans wanted to join Charlie and be a part of what he has created, says so much about the man. The likes of Adrien Brody, Jason Sudeikis, Kate Beckinsale, Jason Bateman, and the late Ray Liotta all add their talents to the film. Each one has their moment to shine, and to deliver a top notch performance.
Fool’s Paradise is a star-studded affair. This film features many of today’s best working actors. It is a well written satire about Hollywood that will have viewers truly feeling for a man who never speaks a word, and his publicist who might seem a bit incompetent at times, but turns out to have a heart of gold.
This movie is brilliant and a complete joy to watch from start to finish. On top of the messages about Hollywood and that the grass might not always be greener on the other side, there are deep rooted themes of friendship and just being a good person in general. The slight dig on the current mental health system is the icing on the cake.
Fool’s Paradise is going to touch a lot of people. It feels like a bit of a love letter to Charlie Chaplin, as well. Charlie Day is a genius. There is no doubt about that. There is something about the relationship between Charlie Day and Ken Jeong in this film that warms the heart.
It’s charming. It’s funny. And it’s absolutely delightful. Fool’s Paradise is a brilliant satire that will leave audiences with a smile on their face and perhaps even a tear in their eye.
Rating: 4 out of 5
About Fool’s Paradise
A satirical comedy about a down-on-his-luck publicist (Jeong) who discovers a recently released mental health patient (Day) who looks just like a misbehaving movie star. The publicist subs him into a film, creating a new star. But fame and fortune are not all they are cracked up to be.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.