Epic in scope and incredibly ambitious, Billy Crystal's directorial-debut has plenty of good qualities, but is ultimately an exercise in self-indulgence and biting off more than he can chew. Serving as writer, director, producer, and star, Crystal can't exactly avoid shouldering the lion's share of the blame either. What could have been a complex character study of a fictional comic legend instead gets bogged down by Crystal's amateurish directing and insatiable need to showcase himself. There's a good movie in there somewhere, though. Most likely it lies in the supporting characters. If Crystal had the ability to give up more screen time to David Paymer, Jerry Orbach, or Helen Hunt, he might not have ended up with such an uneven film. On the whole, Paymer's performance and the fact that the film remains sporadically interesting despite its flaws render Mr. Saturday Night worthy of at least a peek.
by Matthew Tobey review