Crazy on the Outside Reviews
A recently paroled ex-con who has trouble adjusting to the wacky normalcy of life outside of prison. He has spent the last three years behind bars after getting caught committing a crime and taking the rap for his much more dangerous pal.
DIRECTED BY: Tim Allen
It's about a man named Tommy who went away to prison for three yrs. after taking full responsibility for a crime he and his more dangerous partner committed. Now out after his three stint in prison, Tommy is having a tough time with the outside life and trying to hold on to some type of normalcy of his life before prison while also trying to live out the lies his sister keeps telling.
I thought it was funny. I laughed quite a bit. It is an odd comedy. Sigourney Weaver was really funny. I liked her quirky character. Just one of those films that you will want to see for a laugh. Nothing special about it. But worth the rental.. Not theater worthy.
Looking to bounce back and avoid the mistakes he made previously, Tommy tries to resist temptations proffered by his old partner in crime (Ray Liotta) who is trying to lure him back into the piracy game and seeks to restart his late father's house-painting business. The bad news is, he's forced by his parole officer, Angela (Jeanne Tripplehorn) to accept a demeaning job at a local burger joint.
Let's not forget J.K. Simmons as Tommy's sarcastic over sexed brother-in-law and Angela's kid who tries to use Tommy in a matchmaking scheme.
Will Tommy be able to move on, avoid the illegal temptations of his former accomplice, rebuild his late dad's painting business and hook up with his sexy probation officer whose Little Leaguer son has taken a shine to him? Watch it to find out!
Bowen is now engaged to a television salesman (Kelsey Grammer), but is willing to cheat on him with Tommy on the weekend. While Tommy is looking to paint for a living, like his father, but his successful low life buddy (Ray Liotta) that got him put in jail, is willing to give him a job and won't take no for an answer.
I agree with the critics that called the movie a mess. The plot is all over the place and good actors like J.K Simmons are wasted. However the movie actually kept my attention and Sigourney Weaver was actually pretty funny as the sister that can't tell the truth to save her life. While compared to some of the junk Allen has been in, the movie isn't that bad. Which is probably got Allen interested enough to even direct the movie. I think he'll find a good script again sooner or later, Galaxy Quest was really good for example.
As the title suggests, this movie focuses on a man struggling with life after getting out of prison. After serving a three year sentence, ex-con Tommy (Tim Allen) has to adjust to the concept of freedom. Tommy moves in with his compulsive liar sister (Sigourney Weaver) and her husband, who hates him. He soon discovers that life on the outside is not as easy as he expected.
There's not a whole lot to say about this one. You have a real great cast here, headlined by Tim Allen, with supporting roles from a variety of well-known actors. In the little screen time he gets, Ray Liotta is as awesome as ever. I also enjoyed Kelsey Grammer and the gorgeous Julie Bowen. With Crazy on the Outside, you aren't getting some big-time Hollywood film. Instead, it's a fun little movie that had me laughing out loud a few times. Sure, it has it's issues and the story isn't very deep, but I thought it was pretty enjoyable. 3 and a half stars.
It's that sense of being open minded that allowed me to get past the 30 minutes or so, and start to really appreciate what the film was trying to do. Initially, you may find it coming on a little too strong, and decide right away that you're going to hate whatever comes later. Yet, if you keep watching, you come to realize that combined, the performances and the story are kind of sweet, and you find yourself drawn in.
Tim Allen stars as Tommy Zelda. He is just released from prison and has to reintegrate back into society. He has to accomplish this while dealing with his sister (Sigourney Weaver) who is a compulsive liar, her judgmental husband (JK Simmons), naive grandmother, hard-assed probation officer (Jeanne Tripplehorn), and old partner in crime (Ray Liotta). Under circumstances like these it would be difficult for anyone to stay on the straight and narrow.
Still, given the many set backs he encounters through the actions of lovable idiots, or his own poor decisions, you root for the guy and hope he pulls through in the end. Typically, I find myself a harsher critic on films like this, and perhaps it's just the mood I am in, but I found it delightful and rather light hearted.
We've all been there, wanting a second chance. Needing to prove to ourselves, and others, that we can be better. I feel that Allen had something to prove with this project. Perhaps it was simply an exercise in the art of "to see if I could," or maybe there was more to it.
I get the sense that given the cast he put together, they all wanted to help a friend. It wasn't out of pity or for a quick buck. Instead, it was a reflection on Allen's character, and the idea that combined, they could turn out a pretty decent film. In my humble opinion, I think they did just that.
The story is fairly basic, Tommy (Allen himself) has been released from prison after spending 3 years there for counterfeiting movie DVDs (horror!). He goes to live with his sister Viki (Sigourney Weaver) who avoids conflict by habitually lying. Viki has already told their mother that Tommy had gone to France for the past three years. This joke gets milked but I thought fairly effectively. His mother actually learned French and doesn't understand why Viki has to translate for Tommy since he doesn't understand a word of it.
He tries to find his old girl friend Christy (Julie Bowen , the wonderful Claire Dunphy from the current TV hit Modern Family!). Of course Viki has already told Tommy Christy died while he was in prison. In actuality, she's gold-digging in a new relationship with TV pitchman Frank (Kelsey Grammer). While he pines for Christy, Tommy becomes attracted to his parole officer (not highly original for certain). As things get bad, he considers returning to his life of crime with Gray (Ray Liotta). Viki already thinks her brother has already had a whole lotta Liotta and does what she can to stop Tommy's return to crime.
Allen directed this film himself so it really is his movie. I enjoyed the ensemble cast who did a creditable job making the movie enjoyable despite a warm-feeling yet commonplace script. Tim the Toolman has not wandered far from his old TV sitcom roots but as I mentioned at the beginning, if you liked that you should enjoy Allen's craziness on the outside......