Sunday, July 24, 2005

Private Parts (1997)

Starring Howard Stern, Mary McCormack, et al
Rated R, 109 minutes

If you have half a clue who Howard Stern is, see this movie. As one scene in the movie reiterates for those who don’t know, he’s very popular among his haters as he is his voracious fans. So, if you love his show each morning, watch his life story. If you hate his guts, see him play himself in true form in some very embarrassing moments.

The movie just tells the biography of Howard Stern in a very entertaining matter with most of the central characters playing themselves, albeit with altered appearance to fit the time period. Everything feels very real - and not just for that, but for many reasons. Howard doesn’t choose to make himself look superior in all the scenes as you may think. He can save that for present day. Also, the wonderful production design matches Howard’s descriptions from the book to a tee.

I have read (most of) the book, which means nothing, since the movie is a very different animal. The book is very long form, goes on a tangent or two, etc. The movie is very straightforward in regards to a plot, and is perfect fodder for the kids with all of its bad language and expected Stern titillation abound.

In fact the first time I saw this movie was when it came out on video…and I was ten. Yeah. I had passing knowledge of Stern and saw episodes of his E! program, but watching this in a family room with aunts and uncles was a shock. But we were all laughing when the woman orgasmed straddling a stereo speaker, so that should tell you something about its ability to hook you.

And I can’t help mentioning Paul Giamatti whom everybody’s seen at least once by now in some little bit role...he’s absolutely perfect as Kenny AKA “Pig Vomit,” his boss at WNBC. All of the other roles are filled perfectly, and the in-character interviews in between scenes coupled with his longtime producer Gary trying to film scene titles are just icing on the cake.


I can’t help but wonder how it could be altered somehow to at least show how he got to where he was at the time – on K-Rock radio in New York City. The ending is simply a narrative, but lots of scenes in this movie were brilliant – none in the theatrical cut deserve to be eliminated. Hmmm...anyway, it’s cheap on DVD now, so as I often say, buy it if you see it.

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