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KPCW sends its most discerning moviegoers to the movies each week to let you know which films are worth going to and which are a pass. The Friday Film Review airs after the Noon News at 12:30 p.m. and during The Local View. KPCW Friday Film Reviewers are: Barb Bretz, Rick Brough, Mark Harrington and Linda Jager.

Friday Film Review | 'Fool's Paradise'

The best thing about the new comedy “Fool’s Paradise” is that it reminds you of a previous, better movie.

Charlie Day is the writer, director and star of the film. He plays a nameless mute in a mental hospital whose mental capacity, his doctor says, is about on the level of a five-year-old, or a Labrador Retriever.

For budget reasons, the hospital dumps him on the streets of Los Angeles. But almost immediately, he’s snatched up by a producer (played by Ray Liotta) because the Fool is a look-alike for a temperamental leading man. The star is, soon, also dead, due to some auto-erotic shenanigans, jeopardizing a Billy the Kid western in mid-production.

The Fool becomes a hasty substitution, and his performing style—confused, cheerfully catatonic and staring at the camera—somehow makes him a star.

Before you know it, he is married to his leading lady (played by Kate Beckinsale); he’s fawned over by agents, directors and talk-show hosts; and because of a random comment on the set, everyone mistakenly assumes his name is—Latte Pronto!

If you think you’re hearing an echo—remember Peter Sellers’ Chance the Gardener.

Sellers, though, had a tranquil dignity that made you half-believe he was an enigmatic savant named Chauncey Gardiner. Charlie Day looks like a timid, good-natured raccoon, and the Hollywood types elevating him look even more idiotic than the idiots they’re supposed to be.

What we’re supposed to care about, amid all this, is that Latte, who won’t talk, bonds with another complete fool, who won’t shut up. That’s Lenny, a totally incompetent publicist played by Ken Jeong.

The stars dropping in for the party include Jason Sudeikis, Edie Falco, Adrien Brody and finally John Malkovich, who looks like he’d enjoy chewing up and spitting out the rest of the cast.

As a comment on Hollywood, the film looks faded. And it’s no surprise to find it was filmed back in 2018.

But the movie does make you want to go back and stream “Being There.” For that, “Fool’s Paradise” gets 1.5 stars out of 5.