Sunday, November 28, 2010

Private Parts (1997)

Director: Betty Thomas

Starring: Howard Stern (and gang), Paul Giamatti

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Never before has a man done so much with so little!

Plot: Having always wanted to be a disc-jockey, Howard Stern works his way painfully from radio at his 1970's college to a Detroit station. It is with a move to Washington that he hits on an outrageous off-the-wall style that catches audience attention. Despite his on-air blue talk, at home he is a loving husband. He needs all the support he can get when he joins NBC in New York and comes up against a very different vision of radio.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

I used to listen to Stern on my commutes back in the early 90s. Once you listen to a show when something stupendously funny happens, you're hooked. I was there when he and Gilbert Gottfried left a long-ass message on Jerry Seinfeld's answering machine. I was there when the guy who pranked ABC news and Peter Jennings during the OJ Bronco escape called in. It's rare moments like that that will have you in tears with laughter. His appearances on Letterman were hilarious.

So for those gazillions of us who were fans at that time saw this flick in the theaters we were all amazed at how gentle and sweet he came across in the movie. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy. Yeah, it's got some incredibly funny bits mixed in but it's poignant and that took a lot of people by surprise. Stern's performance was shockingly good. But for my money, it's Giamatti that steals the show. He's fucking teary-eyed funny as hell.

I stopped listening to Stern before the movie came out, actually. The commute was no more and I just didn't have time (not to mention the INCREDIBLY long (and frequent) commercial breaks). PRIVATE PARTS is a nice reminder of how funny radio could be and I'm pleased that the picture is just as good now as it was 13 years ago.

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