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Starring: Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Kurt Fuller, Maria Bello, Rita Wilson, Michael E. Rodgers, Ron Leibman


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I am highly amused by the idea that we have come to a point in society where it has been deemed important enough to make a film in which someone has to be hired to portray Richard Dawson. This is made even more comical when one realizes that Richard Dawson is an actor who could so rarely get a movie role in his life that he turned to apparently getting drunk every day and hosting "Family Feud," slobbering all over all his female contestants. Now he's being played on the big screen as an ancillary character in some sleazy porn-freak's life, because sleazy porn-freaks make good movie fodder, and sleazy game show hosts don't. Well, Richard, you'll always have The Running Man.

So this is actually the story of Bob Crane, the guy who starred as Hogan on "Hogan's Heroes." Turns out he really liked porn and nailing chicks, to the detriment of a couple of marriages. Having never really watched that particular sitcom, I fear that some of the impact that this film might have had is lost on me. What is somewhat effective is the depiction of a guy so addicted to sex that a promising life unravels entirely without his realization of the problem, not to mention just how creepy a guy like this can be. Eek - that awful arm-petting in the bar scene during his downward spiral gave me the heebies and also the jeebies.

Despite admirable performances by Kinnear, Dafoe and Bello, I'm having trouble really seeing the point of this film beyond the standard "E! True Hollywood Story" re-enactment special. This movie would never have been made if Bob Crane was fanatically into bird-watching or staple-removing to the detriment of his marriages and career, so it just feels as salacious as the lead character's peccadillos.

It also appears that the focal-point "please create buzz about this film" scene where Crane has a dream sequence in which Colonel Klink and Schultzie start totally gettin' down and dirty with Hilda was an idea that somebody thought was "totally twisted" and would make a good chatterbox piece, and thus the film could be greenlit. Since I never watched the show, I tried to reconstruct this scene with beloved TV sitcom charaters that I am familiar with. Needless to say, the idea of Bull Shannon and Art the maintenance guy on "Night Court" tag-teaming Christine Sullivan was significantly disturbing. I can only hope that Harry Anderson turns out to be some sort of stripper fiend so we can see that scene make it to the big screen in twenty years.

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