Monday, January 21, 2008

Private Parts

Private Parts; Comedy, USA, 1997; D: Betty Thomas, S: Howard Stern, Mary McCormack, Robin Quivers, Fred Norris, Paul Giamatti, Gary Dell'Abate, Jackie Martling, Carol Alt, Jenna Jameson

Howard Stern was fascinated by radio shows ever since he was a kid back in the 1950's. In the Roosevelt high school he attended almost every student was Black thus he couldn't find a girlfriend. On the Boston university he got a degree in communication, an award for a short film and found a girlfriend Alison, who got married to him. His first job as a radio host brings him 96 $ every week, but after he gets fired he finds a new job in Washington. Thanks to his cynical and nihilistic approach he pushes the envelope and boosts a great rating, thus landing a job at NBC in New York, becoming the most listened radio host.

Biographical comedy "Private Parts" describes the life of controversial shock jock Howard Stern, who plays himself (!), but a movie about real life can often be a movie about boredom. The story starts with Stern's appearance at the MTV Music Video Awards in which he had a costume of a superhero called "Fartman" equipped with a hole on his pants - who ever saw that immediately concluded he must be dealing with an extroverted maniac, but surprisingly he leaves a very different, introverted, almost calm impression behind the stage, thinking about how everyone misunderstands him and regards him as an idiot. Director Betty Thomas lifelessly queues short-sparse episodes from Stern's life, like the one where he met his future wife Alison in the home of her friend Elyse (Wendy Hoopes, the voice behind Jane from the cult TV show "Daria"). Most of the gags are sardonic in accordance to the hero's cynical attitude on the radio, like the one where he planned to send a photo of a dead fetus to his parents and present it like their "grandchild" or brought a woman to orgasm through a loud speaker, but as a whole the schematic story doesn't bring much surprises and ends up somehow ephemera, anemic and tiresome.


No comments: