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Review by Andrew Manning (12/97)

Release: 1997, New Line
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, William H. Macy
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
MPAA Rating: [R] sexuality, language, nudity, violence
Genre: Drama


Busboy Eddie Adams (Wahlberg) gets involved in the underground world of the 1970s' adult film industry.


Everything from costumes to set design to colors is reminiscent of the era. Burt Reynolds really comes across as sleazy as the director who snares Eddie into the world of pornography. A lot of the characters' names are silly in that porn sort of way: Eddie assumes the name Dirk Diggler for the screen; Burt Reynold's character is named Jack Horner, and Julianne Moore's character is Amber Waves. Cameos from various real life porn stars, some of whom actually lived through the time this film documents.


A film about pornography with no actual pornography in it seems ridiculously contradictory. Isn't that like a porno where the stars try to act? Sometimes I think this movie gets rave reviews just because hornball critics want an excuse to watch flesh and still call it art. To top it off, what's so terribly interesting about this period of time? Was it the outrageously bad late-era Brady Bunch fashion? Jeez, it was all over when Mike Brady got a perm! And what's so interesting about the filmmaking of this time? Was it the low, cheesy production values or the corny guitar music heavy on the wah?

Rating: 6 out of 10 (0=Abysmal, 5=Average, 10=Excellent)

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