Sympathy for Delicious: movie review

Mark Ruffalo's 'Sympathy for Delicious' follows the spiritual journey of a disabled DJ, but the film devolves into a blur of squalling silliness.

By , Film critic

Mark Ruffalo is one of the best actors of his generation, and I’d like to be able to say that, with his directorial debut, “Sympathy for Delicious,” he’s one of its best filmmakers, too. Alas, this semiexpressionist fantasia is a botch.

Christopher Thornton, who also wrote the script, plays Dean O’Dwyer, also known as “Delicious D,” a rising DJ star in L.A. whose career is cut short after a motorcycle accident. Living in his car in skid row, ministered to by Father Joe Roselli (Ruffalo), the embittered DJ discovers he has the gift of faith healing – although he is unable to heal himself and has to use a wheelchair.

If Ruffalo had stuck with this story, he might have been able to pull off a lower-depths fable. But Delicious D, hooking up with a punkish band, ends up hawking his gift for money, as the movie devolves into a blur of squalling, deadly serious silliness.

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The cast, all of whom have seen better days, also includes Orlando Bloom as the band’s front man, Juliette Lewis as its bass player, and Laura Linney as its manager. Grade: C- (Unrated.)

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