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For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, Feb. 12, 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE: The late John Candy starred in many a movie flop during his all-too-brief career. He was a funnyman who could be warm and endearing (see ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’ or ‘Only the Lonely’ or ‘Cool Runnings,’ probably his best starring roles) and he was cast in a number of movies that had solid comic premise but unfortunately ran out of steam well before the denouement. ‘Delirious’ is such a film, but fans may want to take a look at the new Kino Lorber Blu-ray upgrade. Here’s my Deseret News review when the film opened in theaters on Aug. 14, 1991.

As a spoof of daytime TV soap operas, “Delirious” doesn’t’ come close to “Soapdish,” despite its promising premise: The writer of a TV soap wakes up to find himself living as a character in the show he’s created. Further, he discovers he can fulfill his every wish by simply pounding out a scenario on his typewriter.

John Candy stars as the writer, whose program is “Beyond Our Dreams,” starring beautiful but manipulative Emma Samms. Candy thinks he’s in love with her, but she won’t give him the time of day. It seems she prefers the attentions of superficial David Rasche, her co-star on the show.

But when Candy is knocked out and wakes up inside his own show, then discovers the powers of his magical typewriter, he decides to force Samms to love him by pounding out stories that portray him as a combination of Indiana Jones and James Bond. (At one point he races in on a stallion to rescue Samms when her own horse bolts.)


            Raymond Burr, left, Charles Rocket, 'Delirious'

What he doesn’t count on is the machinery of deceit that he earlier created for his other characters, who include ruthless millionaire Raymond Burr and his two weird sons, preppy Dylan Baker and one-eyed wimp Charles Rocket.

Meanwhile, Mariel Hemingway is the fresh-scrubbed entomologist who really loves Candy, but he doesn’t even notice her.

All of this suggests more than the film is able to deliver, however, as the script and direction settle for pratfalls and over-the-top characterizations – in and outside the soap opera setting – rather than wit.


Emma Samms, left, John Candy, Mariel Hemingway, 'Delirious'

There are some good running gags, especially the one about a cable TV repairman who never shows up, and a surprise cameo by a TV star, providing the film’s biggest laughs.

But these flashes of dash are fleeting, and the film as a whole sags more than the horse Candy rides in on.

“Delirious” is rated PG for violence and profanity.