review for Crazy in Alabama on AllMovie

Crazy in Alabama (1999)
by Laura Abraham review

Believe it or not, there were crazier things in Alabama than Melanie Griffith's over-the-top acting in this 1999 film directed by her husband, Antonio Banderas. There was the craziness of putting two perfectly decent stories into one movie, combining flat-out comedy with drama. An experienced director would have realized the impossible task of mixing the brutal reality of 1965 Alabama racism with the wacky would-be actress life of Lucille (Griffith). The flipping back and forth between the two stories seems completely contrived. It appears to be an attempt to use comedic moments to wipe up any sad feelings the audience may have concerning the racism story line. Griffith has given wonderful performances in Cecil B. Demented, Paradise, and Something Wild, but her light did not shine as brightly in this film. Banderas does his best to make the camera linger longingly on her during her grand entrances and exits, however this can't overcome 111 minutes of bad acting. The film's one redeeming quality is Slingblade's Lucas Black, in another standout performance.