Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by
Wood is excellent, but this is a career highlight for Douglas. His depiction of the manic Charlie stays surprisingly grounded and prevents the story from being a naive celebration of mental illness as a kind of freedom that it so easily could have become.
It's as if the star (Douglas) finally gets to integrate all his onscreen personas, all at once.
When you stand back a step from the movie, you admire Douglas and Wood for starting with potentially unplayable characters, and playing them so well we actually care about a quest that, in a way, seems more designed for Abbott and Costello.
In updating Shakespeare's "The Tempest," writer-director Mike Cahill focuses on the magic worth finding between a father and daughter. That's why the film sticks with you. It's a gift.
Mike Cahill's King of California reminds me of those '70s-era pictures beloved of the counterculture about appealing rebels who go down in flames of moral victory.
The treasure of the film is the unearthing of the family bond, magically played by Douglas and Wood.
Cahill deserves major credit for keeping the story from becoming mawkish or twee. He was also wise enough to realize it's Douglas' show, and as soon as he steps into the frame, you'll know it, too.
The result is enjoyable and frequently affecting. The one weak note is Douglas' performance - he does more than phone it in, but his essential Douglas-ness makes the character less believable than he might have been.
A flaky, tedious, intermittently likable fable about being crazy in a crazy world.
The movie develops in two pieces - one dealing with the quest for the hidden riches and once concentrating on the relationship between father and daughter. The latter works; the former doesn't.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
If you're looking for a screwball comedy about bipolar disorder -- and who among us is not? -- then this picture fits the bill fine. However, if you're picky enough to want a good screwball comedy about bipolar disorder, well, I'm afraid the wait continues.

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