When you're watching a movie and you really can't tell if it's a straight drama or a broad farce, you're probably dealing with a bad movie.When said movie is achieved through the combined forces of Ralph Bakshi, Jared Leto and Alicia Silverstone...you can bet every nickel you've ever made that you're watching a bad movie.
And Cool and the Crazy is astonishingly bad; easily unwatchable enough to earn the moniker of "Ralph Bakshi's Worst Movie" - and this is the same filmmaker who directed Cool World and that universally despised cartoon version of The Lord of the Rings...so that's really saying something.
Cool and the Crazy takes place in the 1950s, or it seems to in at least every third scene. The fashions, the periodic slang, the overwrought obsession with the "bad boy poisoning the virginal young woman" schpiel... All this stuff is offered in an effort to make the film a period piece, but the biggest clue that Cool and the Crazy takes place in the 50s? It says so on the back of the DVD case.
Alicia Silverstone plays comely young bride Roslyn; Jared Leto is her sweet-natured hubby. When Roslyn's notably sluttier friend Joannie proposes that they experience the forbidden joys of illicit 1950s sex, things go from banal to insipid. Rosy starts an extra-marital fling with stereotypical bad boy "Joey" (think Danny Zuko, only stupider, if that's possible) only to discover the seamier side of slutty sexuality, and before too long Joey proves an annoying threat to Roslyn's boring marriage.
It should be noted, at this point, that none of the above material is presented in a way that's even remotely challenging or touching or entertaining. If it seems so, that's because I'm a better writer than whomever it was who wrote Cool and the Crazy...oh yeah, that'd be Ralph Bakshi again. Nothing in this movie resembles any sort of reality, and if the goal was to create some sort of 'hyper-real' attack on 1950s value systems...well, Bakshi failed there too.
The only component worthy of any real note is the outlandishly entertaining acting performance by Alicia Silverstone in one of her earliest roles. Rare is the performance this blindly inept and hilariously overwrought.But if you consider that the sort of thing that makes a movie worth renting, you're way beyond my help at this point.