Sympathy for Delicious
Directed by Mark Ruffalo
Starring Christopher Thornton, Ruffalo, Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney
In “Sympathy for Delicious,” relative newcomer Christopher Thornton stars as Delicious, an underground DJ who’s been confined to a wheelchair after a crippling accident. Living out of his car and getting meals from charity, he spends most of his time brooding and longing for a miracle cure.
As fate would have it, miracles are in his cards, but not for him: Out of the blue, we learn he can heal sick people (himself excluded) with his touch. When word of his magic fingers gets out, everyone wants a piece of Delicious. He joins a band named Burnt the Diphthongs and they begin a Healapalooza Tour, where he cures people on stage while the band plays bad metal tunes. It’s a hit.
From the quirky plot to the grainy film stock, “Sympathy for Delicious,” Mark Ruffalo’s directorial debut, feels contrived and pseudo experimental. You’ve got to give Ruffalo props for going all out with the offbeat story, especially on his first feature, but the storytelling always feels more labored than it needs to be. One moment it’s inspirational, the next it’s satirical, and the tone never quite settles. It’s unpredictable at best and confusing at worst.
“Sympathy” has a lot of heart, but good will is not what this movie needs. There’s a pat, somewhat rewarding moral at the end of the story, but it’s a rough journey to that finale.