Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Dirty Shame

A Dirty Shame; Satire, USA, 2004; D: John Waters, S: Tracey Ullman, Johnny Knoxwille, Selma Blair, Chris Isaak, Suzanne Shepherd, Mink Stole, Patricia Hearts, Jackie Hoffman, Wes Johnson, David Hasselhoff

Sylvia is a frigid middle aged housewife who always refuses to sleep with her husband Vaughn. Her daughter Caprice is under house arrest for exhibitionism and has giant cosmetically enhanced breasts size F. One day, Sylvia is struck in the head by a lawnmower from a passing truck, whose driver Ray-Ray, a 'sexual healer', cures her and returns lust to her life. Constantly aroused, she now wants to sleep with everyone, while her uptight mother Ethel starts a decency rally against perversions in the neighborhood. Sylvia becomes her uptight self when struck in the head, but becomes wild by another struck, becoming Ray-Ray's 12th apostle, discovering a new way of intercourse - headbutts.

"A Dirty Shame" is pretty good the first 20 minutes when John Waters crafts it as a sleazy satire about frigidity as a some sort of a traditional value, whereas Tracey Ullman is all right as the main protagonist Sylvia who suddenly transforms from an uptight wife into a lusty woman, yet the movie quickly dissolves into chaotic mess where it wasn't really clear what the story was trying to say or what the story actually was for that matter. Here and there a few funny lines show up (like "I'm not prude. I married an Italian!" or "My daughter is a good child. She hates sex!") and some black humored gags actually have some style, like when Ray-Ray humps a tree and it's flowers start to bloom, yet it's filled with tasteless details (putting a finger lasciviously into meat in the store) and even inconsistencies - for instance, at first Sylvia's husband Vaughn wants to sleep with her, but she refuses, yet later on she wants to sleep with him but he suddenly becomes prude all of a sudden. Also, Sylvia's character is only reduced to cheap moaning and lusty behavior, but very little else about her is found out since she even gets pushed into the background by all the too crazy ideas that turn the whole film into just a farce about humping everyone with everything, but on the other hand, some have praised the film precisely because the whole thing has been done so over the top that it actually became funny. Among the bizarre highlights is definitely Selma Blair in the small role as Caprice, Sylvia's daughter with breasts size F (!), but when one looks at Lolo Ferrari, it actually even isn't that far fetched.


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