Boogie Nights

August 17, 2005

Boogie Nights, 1997

I liked it.

I wanted to listen to the director's commentary, even though such things are usually pretty much worthless. I will throw the Howard Cosell Memorial foam brick(tm) at the TV the next time I hear a two-minute ramble about making the movie "real." I digress.

The stories is inspired by John Holmes - we see our nebbish from the Valley who stumbles into porn and discovers he is good at it. In fact, it is about the only thing he is good at - the rest is fantasy life and make believe.

What made the movie, for me, was the cast as a whole, especially Burt Reynolds as the producer and Julianne Moore as his wife. I liked that there were a whole mess of folks here, each with their own compelling and consistent story, and their stories were linked but distinctive, strands in a crochet.

What got a little too predictable was that the plot was stolen from VH1. Our hero becomes an overnight success, struggles with fame and fortune, falls into drugs and almost gets caught up in violence - I was convinced at one point that we were going to re-watch the Neverland murders - and finally gets his act together. Sort of - as much as a struggling porn star can be expected to get his act together.

The movie is framed around the legacy of John Holmes, which is good because he was a compelling personality. What they loose from this framing is that, to my understanding, much of the porn business is built around the dynamic of male producer/director/money men and female starlets. That would be a very different movie.

So, some good performances, a cliche'd plot, and a setting and subject matter that has its own little prurient thrill. Give it a good, but not an excellent.

Posted by Red Ted at August 17, 2005 11:04 AM | TrackBack
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