Steven Hyden at Grantland wrote a piece about legendary movie-within-a-movie Windy City Heat, a film that is ostensibly about a “sports detective”, but is actually about a terrible actor who believes he’s in a movie about a “sports detective”. Oh, and if you’re interested in a more straightforward documentary on the corrosive quality of sudden fame, I strongly recommend Overnight, a film that profiles the sudden rise and ego-fueled fall of Boondock Saints director Troy Duffy.
Based on what I’ve briefly related about Windy City Heat, you’ve likely reached an obvious conclusion: There’s no way that the film-within-the-film is for real. You’d have to be pretty dense not to recognize the signs — Caravello is clearly a terrible actor, the sports detective premise is ludicrous, and the Fridge is far too dignified to appear in such a low-rent project.
Sure enough, a series of inserts appearing over the opening scene informs the audience that all of this Stone Fury business is really an elaborate prank that everyone is in on except for Caravello. He isn’t actually starring in a film about a sports detective — the film is really about an incompetent actor who thinks he’s starring in a film about a sports detective. Windy City Heat is subsequently set up as The Truman Show in reverse: The main character is an average man situated inside a fabricated reality that perpetuates the illusion that he’s in the process of becoming a celebrity (as opposed to a celebrity who’s led to believe that he’s an average man).