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Film / Delirious

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Delirious is a 1991 comedy film about Jack Gable (John Candy), a Soap Opera writer who gets trapped in his own TV show. While this would be problematic enough, he discovers his typewriter gives him Reality Warper powers within. He is also mistaken for a character named Jack Gates, a Corrupt Corporate Executive, who he was going to introduce into the show. Becoming intoxicated with the power and blinded by his crush for the actress behind the show's Alpha Bitch, he soon finds himself writing himself into the show's absurdist So Bad, It's Good plot.


Delirious provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of afternoon soap operas and the odd plot turns they have.
  • All Just a Dream: Jack gets hit on the chin, getting a concussion, and then finds himself "transported" to Ashford Falls.
  • Author Powers: A soap opera writer gets hit on the head and wakes up as a character inside his own show. His typewriter comes with him, and he can use it to alter and plan out events in the show, even affecting other characters' behavior. However, a rival author has been hired to write show scripts as well, leading to a rare case of someone with Author Powers being in a Rage Against the Author situation.
  • Blind Driving: Jack does this at one point and survives, thanks to the typewriter.
  • Brick Joke: The fate of the actress behind Rachel Hedison. She ends up hosting a local game show... in Cleveland.
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  • The Bus Came Back: Jack Gates comes back from Cleveland and shoots Gable.
  • Call-Back: Jack Gable uses his frustration at waiting on the cable repair guy to sidetrack Carter Hedison.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Jack Gates, The Wolf of Wallstreet (no, not that one).
  • Deconstructive Parody: Of standard soap opera plots, characters and the business behind them.
  • Dueling Movies: With SoapDish.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": What Jack does when he discovers what the typewriter can do.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jack wants to maintain the artistic integrity of his show and be The Last DJ of soap opera writing. The problem is, while he IS a talented writer, his bosses (the Sherwoods) are correct that he's fixated on the show's star, Laura Claybourne, to an unhealthy degree. He keeps trying to write her Oscar Bait plots where she's the hero while the Sherwoods note she's not a heroic character or even a particularly likable one. Laura is also shamelessly using Jack's crush to manipulate him into doing this. By the end, Jack has figured this out.
  • Literal Genie: Jack gets drunk, makes some typos, and the events reflect those.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Jack Gates is entirely capable of murder because, well, Jack wrote him that way.
    "Nobody does this to Jack Gates!"
    "Yeah, yeah. Shouldn't you be in a mini-series someplace?"
  • One-Word Title: Delirious.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: One of the extras does this, after Gable writes in a blackout.
    Elderly Man: The elderly man exits.
    Jack Gable: Now I've got them speaking stage dialogue!
  • Place Worse Than Death: Cleveland. Jack Gates gets sent there by Gable; when he returns, Gates says that alone is reason enough to kill Gable.
  • Reality Warper: Jack's typewriter allows him to make anything he writes into reality. He actually abuses it less than he might have since he never makes use of it to control the minds of the people around him (he's tempted, but stops himself).
  • Rich Bitch: Rachel Hedison, and her actress to a lesser extent.
  • Stunt Casting: Raymond Burr as the head of the Hedison family. Also in-universe as the Sherwood hired Robert Wagner to play Jack Gates during sweeps week.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: At one point, Jack writes himself jumping through a window (which magically appears) to save Janet. Though she exclaims "Where did that window come from?" once he rescues her it appears not to be a fact worth mentioning again.


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