C.R.A.Z.Y. Review
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The French-Canadian film C.R.A.Z.Y. is a stylish but predictable coming-of-age film, following a young man from infancy through adulthood as he tries to come to terms with his homosexuality. This movie also delves into his relationship with church and God and, most of all, his dysfunctional family.

Zac Beaulieu (played by Émile Vallé as a child and Marc-André Grodín as a teenager and adult) was born on Christmas 1960. He always resented having to share his birthday with Jesus by attending Midnight Mass. As the fourth child (and boy), he hated his brothers, especially Raymond (Pierre-Luc Brillant) who always tormented him. Zac had a loving relationship with his mother (Danielle Proulx); however he constantly tried to impress his difficult father (Michel Côté), even to the extent of concealing his true self. Yes, we’ve seen it all before. Dad adored the late country singer Patsy Cline and constantly played her records. Though Cline’s hit “Crazy” plays throughout the film, C.R.A.Z.Y. is actually an acronym, which isn’t explained until the end of the film.

  
 
Zac was a gentle and sensitive child. “Mrs. What’s-her-name,” the Tupperware lady, maintained that he had a God-given gift. He was instructed to recite prayers and command (not ask) God to heal. Unfortunately, his mother believed this, and she always requested that he pray to cure family members. When his baby brother was born, he was the only one who could soothe this fussy child. He wanted a baby carriage for Christmas, but Dad didn’t want him to turn into a “fairy.” He also liked to dress in Mom’s robe, slippers, and beads. At seven years old, he still wet the bed.

Zac’s sexual confusion is brought to light as a teenager, when he identifies with David Bowie (during the Ziggy Stardust years). The bedwetting is replaced by asthma attacks, which he believes are brought on by homosexual fantasies. If he could just squelch those feelings, his asthma would be cured. He’s in awe of Raymond, and for a time lives through him; he discreetly watches his sexual encounters and relates the episodes to his classmates.

By age 20, he’s still denying his sexuality by forcing himself into an intimate relationship with a long-time female friend. He continues his sour relationship with Raymond, now a drug addict, but at least physically defends himself. However, he finally gets the ultimate revenge, masked as an act of kindness toward his brother.

There are some fun moments in the film, such as Zac’s “surprise” fantasies. My favorite is his wild daydream of the congregation joyously singing to the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” during Midnight Mass. However, there are some confusing parts as well, such as when Zac, now an atheist, travels to Jerusalem in a quest for self-discovery.

C.R.A.Z.Y. methodically takes us through the evolution of a young man’s sexual awareness. However, the resolution is rushed. Also, little is said about his relationships outside of the family. The characters are stereotypical and one-dimensional—one brother is a jock, another is the typical “brain” (ugly glasses and all), and, of course, there’s Raymond, the bad boy. Dad is homophobic and image-conscious, while Mom maintains her unconditional love. Though the soundtrack is enjoyable, there’s nothing really unique about this film.

(C.R.A.Z.Y. is in French with English subtitles.)

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