Saturday, November 08, 2008

Dan Klores and Fisher Stevens, "Crazy Love" (2007).

I finally got to sit down and watch a movie the other night. The roller coaster of national events has kept my head spinning for weeks. The level of engagement of the US citizenry is as about as intense as I've ever seen it. Instead of talking about the latest celebrity scandal, or the victim of some heinous crime, people actually seem to be concerned with the world outside of their circumscribed circles. I've not often been described as someone drawn to looking at the bright side, but there it is. Anyway, I knew it was time for some concentrated leisure, and that didn't involve sitting down in front of the computer. So I scanned the many titles of my DVD shelf looking for a suitably entertaining diversion.

Crazy Love (2007) is nothing like it sounds. It's not a charming little indie starring Jennifer Aniston. Nor is it a blockbuster with Robin Williams. Instead it's the story of Burt Pugach, a New York City "ambulance-chaser" who had a very successful law firm and owned a nightclub. It's also the tale of how he spotted a woman named Linda Riss, and immediately fell in love with her. Burt had to have her, and set out immediately to court her with roses and dinner. Riss was a lovely girl with a cynicism influenced by family loss and a healthy skepticism of men. Still, she was captivated by Pugach's success and seeming charm. If only he would have been as pretty as her, it might have been a match "made in heaven".

It's true that Burt Pugach was far from being a "hunk". He was inordinately thin, weak-chinned, and kind of goofy looking. But as the old man said- "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and often one's vision is clouded by great wealth and lavish generosity. It certainly helped that Pugach owned his own plane, and knew many stars. Bottom line, Burt Pugach was completely devoted to Linda Riss. This presented a problem, as he was already married. When Linda found out that he was betrothed, it seemed to make sense. Why would a prosperous man like him still be single? Linda decided that she couldn't continue to see Burt, as long as he had a wife. Pugach responded by promising to get a divorce.

One of the enduring powers that women hold over men is their right of refusal. Although Linda definitely liked boys, she wasn't the easy sort. She refused to put out until marriage. This drove Pugach up a wall, and he started to imagine that his beloved was straying. He badgered her until she offered to take him to a doctor that would verify her virginity. He accepted, and soon found out that he had been wrong. He redoubled his efforts to keep her, promising that his divorce was in motion. Meanwhile, Linda was starting to believe that her suitor was insane. She went on vacation to Florida with a girlfriend and fell in love with a stud. When she came back, Pugach became completely unhinged. If he couldn't have her, he didn't want anyone else to.

As Linda's relationship with her new man developed, Burt intensified his efforts to get her back. He realized that he was losing the game when he was informed of Linda's engagement. Some jealous men simply stew, and others take action. Burt Pugach hired some men to show up at Linda's house and throw lye in her face. As a result, she was hospitalized and permanently blinded. The sordid story of the disbarred attorney who had disfigured his ex-girlfriend hit the media with a big splash. Burt was put on trial, convicted, and imprisoned. This should have been the end of the road for the romantic possibilities between Linda and Burt. But it wasn't. What happened next should justify your search for the DVD... I'm not telling.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unusual for me to have watched this type of movie before you, but I had. I was intrigued how a woman could love a man who had disfigured her, and "owned" her as a result. They were both very sad sad people. He was an egotistical madman, she simply unexplainable. Still, a very intriguing study in human behavior nearly beyond comprehensible.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Sidecar said...

Saw this about six months ago. Truly a vexing, macabre romance noir.

Indeed, as Michael Douglas noted in the "American President," America is "advanced citizenship" these days.

In the political hub-bub, I had no idea ABC announced the THREE HOUR premiere of Lost, Season 5.

Yes we can, Sawyer.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


I think sociopathy is a word that fits quite well under the circumstances. He has absolutely no guilt, even though he does indeed know the difference between "right" and "wrong". Whereas a lot of people may have passing thoughts not much different from him, he lacks the inhibitions that keep them from acting.


My wife and I eagerly await the DVD release of Lost: Season 4. That's the charm of lacking cable.

8:05 AM  

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