"We're doing Cosi Fan TUTTE!"

Hearing Roy proclaim this to his new director may be the first time you are clued in to just how screwball this comedy is. Roy is the self-appointed leader of a somewhat reluctant band of "mental defectives" in an Australian hospital, and Roy has decided that the troupe should perform the Mozart opera. This despite the fact that they can't act, can't sing, and don't know Italian. If this seems like a promising idea for a film comedy, believe me that promise is fulfilled.

Cosi treats the characters in the hospital with respect, even dignity, yet there's no "see what these people can accomplish if you give them a chance" sanctimony to weigh things down. Some of these folks are truly disturbed, dangerous even, and the movie doesn't sugar-coat that. "We all have our handicaps," it says matter-of-factly, and then rises above that. In fact, by the end you may find yourself floating in a kind of delirium, which seems perfectly appropriate.