Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    100
    Of the long list of couples who have loved neither wisely nor particularly well, few have such power to disturb as Burton Pugach and the love of his life, Linda Riss.
  2. 100
    The enthralling documentary Crazy Love is about how a high-flying lawyer's obsession with a young beauty blinded her, metaphorically and literally.
  3. The tale itself is so spectacularly perverse, and the film stays so authentically close to the personalities involved, that you don't feel dirty -- you feel cleansed.
  4. Dan Klores's astonishing film is about a subject so bizarre it could only work as a documentary – as a drama, it would be dismissed as being too far-fetched.
  5. 88
    For those who don't believe that truth trumps fiction for whacked-out depravity, mark this shockingly fierce and funny spellbinder as Exhibit A.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Crazy Love doesn't downplay the awfulness of what happened , but it also knows a good media circus when it sees one.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Bell
    80
    All told, Crazy Love is a rarity in documentaries; it's fun.
  8. It takes some time to realize we're in a maelstrom--going down down down into a saga of obsession, sadism, masochism, and codependency that was and remains one of the great, sick tabloid stories of all time.
  9. The movie's quirk isn't forced; it sincerely ponders the nature of love and of human need, opening with a quote by Jacques Lacan and ending with a shrug.
  10. 75
    Love makes us do all kinds of crazy things, but in Crazy Love, crazy seems too mild a word.
  11. 75
    The story is still so compelling - and the principals still so eager for attention - that the filmmaker's pedestrian treatment can't take away from the impact.
  12. 70
    Formally, Klores film is a standard-issue documentary, combining period footage with talking-head interviews. But his talking heads are a hoot -- leathery, leisure-suited, foul-mouthed, larger-than-life characters, straight out of the Bronx by way of Palm Beach -- and their story is a Gothic yarn of obsession, crime and forgiveness.
  13. At one point, Klores thought about making a feature film out of the material, but it's a good thing he decided against it. You could not make this stuff up.
  14. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    70
    While the competent filmmaking package lacks much of its own personality, the sheer fascinating strangeness of the people documented could earn the picture a minor cult following a la "Grey Gardens."
  15. 70
    One may be horrified by these two, or laugh at them, but both horror and laughter give way to amazement at the human talent for survival.
  16. 70
    Klores and Stevens don't have much to work with visually besides talking heads, old photos, news clippings, and stock footage, but with a narrative this insane, that's more than enough.
  17. Pugach's selfishness, his inability to detach love from gratification, is the key to this crazy story.
  18. In Crazy Love, friends of Burt and Linda express as much confusion over their relationship as we feel, and the Pugaches themselves make an unconvincing case for theirs being a love that conquered all. On the contrary, love doesn't seem to have had anything to do with them. She married him out of desperation, and he pursued her out of a sense of entitlement.
  19. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Crazy Love is pulp non-fiction.
  20. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    60
    However sick this tabloid star may be, Crazy Love is a celebrity doc by definition, with all its attendant trade-offs, and even the director admits that his access wasn't free.
  21. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    60
    Though the subject matter sounds depressing, Crazy Love has an infectious, even bouncy tone.
  22. Reviewed by: Gianni Truzzi
    58
    Romance has little to do with the bizarre tale, part true crime and part lonely-hearts drama, of Burt Pugach and Linda Riss. While the now elderly pair may have found some happiness, that absence is heartbreaking.
  23. 58
    There's plenty of black comedy in their twisted affair, but a more substantial documentary wouldn't leave you smiling.
  24. Reviewed by: Sura Wood
    50
    Despite the inherent, shocking nature of the material, Dan Klores' narrowly focused, poorly paced documentary lacks a narrative thrust that could have made for a more compelling film.
  25. Reviewed by: Tamara Straus
    50
    It leaves one feeling queasy about human nature.
  26. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    50
    Directed with little flair, a one-sided perspective and a questionable sense of moral responsibility by Dan Klores (his negligent lack of an editorial voice in the couple's lunacy reeks of train-wreck exploitation), Crazy Love is a disturbingly captivating tabloid horror, but that's not Klores' doing.
  27. 50
    In the sense that everyone is interesting once their lives are sufficiently unpacked, Burt and Linda's story is not boring -- but beyond its tabloid sensationalism, it's not especially significant either.
  28. The overall vibe is morbidly entertaining, though something of a downer, partly because it's unclear if Mr. and Mrs. Pugach know that they are such sick puppies, partly because it's unclear if Mr. Klores cares that they are.
  29. Now, they're together. You can't look at them, but you can't look away either. So it goes.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. mathewB.
    Jul 8, 2007
    7
    Great story, interesting interviews. Sort of a boring doc. style, and a few unanswered questions, hurt an otherwise great untold story. worth watching. Full Review »
  2. AndrewK.
    Jun 30, 2007
    6
    I'm really surprised at how much the reviewers trash the director of this film. A true documentarian doesn't stamp his views all over the film. He lets the audience decide for themselves. What to say about Burt and Linda? Not knowing anything at all about them, and having read the brief reviews on here, I assumed that maybe they were in the mafia. Not so. Burt is a sleazebag lawyer and Linda is an ordinary, beautiful young girl when the story begins. Things turn ugly fast. What he does to her is terrible. And then comes the real surprise. I won't say what it is because I don't want to ruin it for anybody. But if you've never heard of these two, I advise you be introduced to them the same way I was. With this documentary. You won't believe that it's true. You may find them both to be, literally, crazy, as the title suggests. But in the end, who are we to judge? They seem to be happy. Or at least not miserable. Full Review »
  3. JimG.
    Jun 19, 2007
    6
    Wow. Truth really is stranger than fiction. Engaging tale, crisply told.