In theaters June 15th 2007
Rated PG-13 for language including sexual references, and mature thematic elements
Runtime: 92 min
Reviewed by Anne Jackson for Mungles on Movies
Crazy Love. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled. This provocatively twisted documentary about the story of Burt Pugach and Linda Riss is anything but lovely.
Long story short: Burt, an ambulance-chasing lawyer meets and falls in love with a beautiful twenty-year-old Linda. They date, become serious, and soon Linda realizes Burt is married and has no intent on leaving his wife. Linda ends the relationship and becomes engaged to another man, Burt (who has already identified himself as nothing short of a sex addict) goes crazy. Literally. He hires three men to attack Linda, throwing acid on her face which causes her face to scar and her eyesight to disappear. His thinking? “If I can’t I have Linda, then nobody will.” This story becomes well publicized, especially in the New York area where both Burt and Linda live.
Burt goes to jail for fourteen years, during which he attempts to contact Linda. He calls her friends and family, trying to get the message across that he is still madly in love with her. Once being interviewed on television, Burt publicly confesses his love after all these years, and proposes to Linda.
It seems like an easy answer, right? I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with a man who sleeps around every chance he gets. Oh, and then there’s the whole “you disfigured my face and caused me go to blind” piece of the puzzle. But interestingly enough, Linda says yes to his proposal.
Love? I’m not so sure. The film, a documentary by Dan Klores, interviews Burt and Linda as well as their living friends and family. It seems as if he glorifies Burt’s obsession with women, money, and fame while dismissing how tragic his actions actually were. Burt elaborately expresses his thoughts and feelings, but Linda seems to hesitate. Whether or not it was intentional on Klores’ behalf remains to be unseen. The body language of Burt and Linda in their present day relationship (still married, 28 years later) speaks more of their true life than the documentary, with Linda almost always leaning away from Burt.
Awkwardly pieced together and repetitive with historical facts and photos, the documentary crawled along and I impatiently waited for its end. The two girls next to me were about as astonished as I was with how unbelievable this true-life story was, and is.
I give Crazy Love 2 out of 5 blue Cadillacs. It was a disappointing portrayal of what could possibly be a very interesting psychological exploration.
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