Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Being There (1979)

Directed by Hal Ashby

Starring Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden

Author

Perhaps one of the earliest explorations, or even commentaries, on the effects of television and mass media on people. Aside from that angle, the movie is rather boring.

An idiot fools everyone and stumbles his way to national fame, a device used again but in a more fanciful way in Forrest Gump. Why isn’t any explanation given for Chance’s “issue”? Not sure that last shot jived with me. He’s supposed to be Jesus?

An aging Sellers has a great 70’s look. While the character he portrayed is mostly hollow and flat, his performance is nonetheless engaging. It’s too bad he was such a train wreck. Would have been nice to see him do heavier stuff as he got older. While mostly known as a comedian, I have a feeling Sellers would have been capable of some pretty dramatic performances.

I agree 100% with Sellers that the outtakes should have been removed from the end credits. This was a dramatic movie, not a comedy.

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