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The 1960s proves more fortunate for Barris; he meets the love of his life, Penny (Drew Barrymore), and sells ABC on the idea of The Dating Game. "Some Things Are Better Left Top Secret" Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is an altogether interesting film from all angles.

However, after the show has made him wealthy and successful, Barris is approached by the mysterious Jim Byrd (George Clooney), a CIA agent who wants to recruit Barris as a covert operative. There's the life of Chuck Barris aspect, which is the story of the film, and if the CIA connection is actually true or not. It's George Clooney's directorial debut and it's written by Charlie Kauffman.

Unfortunately, Charlie Kaufman's least daring script tries to sculpt the story into the usual psyche-study with unsubtle philosophical subtexts, but those elements sort of just flail around, leaving audiences with nothing much more than a wacky, slick-looking drama/thriller thing with a talented but underutilized cast, and not enough substance to complement the style. In this autobiography he details his life in show business as well as his other life as a CIA assassin. If there is one gripe, its how dark this film does gets in terms of its dramatic shift after the first hour, but that's a small issue, this is a very entertaining, well written dark comedy, with a great performance form Rockwell and very good directorial effort from Clooney. Strong cast and cameo line up but both Clooney as the CIA handler and Julia Roberts as the femme fatale character gave rather flat performances.

Still, I learnt something about the history of reality TV and the twist with CIA assassination operations is quite enticing.regardless of the truth of the story, this is an excellent film.

As he hops the globe, killing people in the name of American security (using his status as a Dating Game chaperone as a cover), Barris learns that the KGB has discovered his not-so-little secret and that his own life is in great danger. Taking a well-earned break from the surreal situations and the complex plotting, Kaufman turned his attention here to a much more straightforward yarn that was better grounded in reality; the twist there being that it was based on a story that, while allegedly true, just as likely never happened. This biographical film follows Chuck Barris as he works his way into television by coming up with game show ideas like, The Dating Game.

However, it is Sam Rockwell as Chuck Barris who really steals the show.

"Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" is the story of a legendary showman's double life - television producer by day, CIA assassin by night. Rutger Hauer and Clooney again show up in small parts as well, and make their scenes and chemistry with Rockwell work very well adding to both the dark tone and dry comedy of the film. It's worth a watch for more than the fact that it's Clooney's directorial debut and a Kauffman script.

At the height of his TV career, Chuck Barris was recruited by the CIA and trained to become a covert operative. George Clooney clearly had fun directing this movie, as there are all sorts of neat-looking details going on. A film based on the autobiography of game-show creator-host Chuck Barris, of The Gong Show and the Dating Game to name a few. Sam Rockwell stars as Chuck Barris, in a pitch perfect performance, capturing all the nuances and quirks that make the real Barris. The way the subject matter of assassin is handled is done so well, putting the viewer in a certain frame of mind that could go either way with if Barris was actually an assassin or not, and how the whole experience was fucking with his mind. Typical Charlie Kaufman script with our anti-hero protagonist being a very male Jewish American with social issues and a melancholy philosophy on life.

It's not an innovative, far-out, one-of-a-kind experience (a la ' Being John Malkovich'). The book has been turned into a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman of Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine, and Being John Malkkovich fame, and who better to adapt such an offbeat story, filling the film with dark humor and a twisty tone from satire to bleak and philosophical in its own ways. Its also a low budget movie from Miramax, directed by George Clooney for his first time in the directors chair, and being low budget, he gives the film a great look using various camera techniques, film saturation, old movie tricks, and long creative takes to get some neatly done scenes. At the end of this one I was left wondering what could have been.

But it's an entertaining, well-made and entirely satisfying flick with one particularly brilliant stand-out performance, and that's more than enough to do the job. Jim Byrd: You're 32 years old, and you've achieved nothing. [developing his idea for the Gong Show] Chuck Barris: We're goin' about this all wrong! The movie is extremely messy in spots and some scenes just don't work at all.