Boogie Nights: The Best Fictional Biopic About Porn EVAH

Moving along to Boogie Nights, a 1997 ode to porn starring Mark Wahlberg's junk.  Is an impressive piece of prosthetic genitalia enough to earn Boogie Nights a position on our list at #536?  Yes, apparently so.  Does it deserve that spot?  I don't know, I haven't watched it yet.  I'll get back to you.

Eddie is a dishwasher/guy who lets other dudes watch him jack off for ten bucks a pop.  He's working one night when a man from the adult film industry comes a calling.  He changes his name to Dirk Diggler, and becomes a very successful porn star.  It is the 70s, however, and the inevitable lure of cocaine addiction takes its toll.  Soon he's a coked out diva who makes outrageous demands, leading to him quitting the porn industry.  So he tries his hand at music and being a professional drug addict, neither of which work out that great for him.  But he reconciles with his porn star family, and is back to play Brock Landers, the James Bond of pornos.  Presumably 20 years later, he is this man.

Random Musings:

  • OMG Mark Wahlberg is so young and adorable!  I just want to give him a big hug.

  • Poor William H Macy, your wife is a prostitute.  She's just casually having sex with some random in their bed when he walks in, and she tells him to go sleep on the couch.  I realize that this is the swinging 70s, when people shared STDs the way we share videos of cute animals doing hilarious things.  But damn, bitch, that's mad cold.

  • Is every relationship in this film incredibly dysfunctional?  Eddie's dad kisses his wife on the cheek to say good morning, and she's like, "Jesus, shave if you're going to do that, you'll scratch my face!"  Fine, woman, I guess I'll go back to being emotionally distant, if that's what you want.

  • Oh, eight tracks.  What a bad decision you were.  You're the reason why whenever a new piece of technology comes out, I wait a few years before hopping on the bandwagon.  Just to make sure it doesn't completely suck and won't be immediately replaced by something way better.

  • I love Don Cheadle as the country music loving black man living in the 70s.  The dude took the road less traveled, and I respect that.

  • OK, I have two issues with the blond girl in the classroom.  One: She is wearing the shortest shorts I have ever seen in my entire life that actually qualify as shorts.  Don't these schools have dress codes?  Will no one think of the children?  Two: Rollerskates?  Really?

  • Holy shitake mushrooms is that John C Reilly?  What are you doing here?  Love the sexual tension between him and Mark Walhberg.  Wow...never thought I would write that before.

  • OMG I love the guy with the coked out girl on his lap, bawling his eyes out because, "this is twice in two days that a chick OD'ed on me!" Listen, I'm saying this as a friend: the minute that girls repeatedly ODing on you becomes an issue, you should probably consider reevaulating your life.

  • I am ridiculously amused by how nonchalantly everyone is this movie discusses Eddie's giant penis.  They talk about it the way your aunt's new boyfriend says, "So, Jane, your aunt tells me you like history." "So, Eddie, Jack here tells me you've got a great big cock." Classic.  Who are these people?

  • Quick question: Is Philip Seymour Hoffman capable of being anything other than a sleazy weirdo in any of his films?

  • I'm pretty sure I just heard John C Reilly tell Mark Wahlberg that he fucks like a champ.  And you know what that means: I can die now, because that just made my life.

  • The 1970s as a decade will never cease to amaze me.  Not only is it completely kosher to go see pornos in theaters, but there are actually porn reviews in magazines.  And they have a remarkably well-attended Academy Awards type ceremony for porn.  That's classy as shit.

  • How hilarious would it be to be an extra in a porn film?  Like, one of the people sitting in the bar while Brock Landers picks up some chick.

  • much as I feel for William H Macy, this situation is exactly what you have to expect when you marry a porn star.  I mean, that's like marrying a baker and getting pissed off that she's making cookies for other dudes.

  • Love Julianne Moore's character.  She's this incredibly loving, motherly woman...who also happens to be a porn star with a cocaine addiction.  And she plays it really well.

  • Oh poor Scotty.  But seriously, that scene when he comes on to Dirk Diggler is so beyond awkward I don't think there's a word invented for it yet.  And side note: now I've seen Philip Seymour Hoffman kiss Mark Wahlberg, and I really don't know how to process this.

  • "I'll fuck on my own time, I have other interests.  I'm a magician."  Best line ever.

  • Dear sweet Jesus, the demo tape of Dirk Diggler is the saddest most pathetic thing I've ever heard.  This is horrifying.  I'm not sure if my ears are bleeding from the music or from the blunt object I just rammed into my skull.

  • I wonder if in the early 80s, you could take a dollar bill and sniff it really hard and maybe get a little high?

  • Is it kind of weird that Julianne Moore considers Dirk Diggler her surrogate son, but she also has sex with him?  If it's just me, I'll shut up.

  • I love Don Cheadle.  He is a shining light in a sea of secondary characters.  Especially when he's in the bank trying to get a loan for his electronics store.  He breaks my heart.  Also, I was sure he was going to die in the donut shop.  So pleased to see that guy walk out of there alive.

  • I love that the drug dealer gets them all to shut up when his favorite part of Motorin' comes up.  Because I also love that song and would probably do the exact same thing.

  • OMG John C Reilly has a naughty magic act that's the best thing ever.

  • "I'm staring at the foxiest bitch in the whole world." Wow, Jack, that's wicked romantic.  Swoon.

  • Merciful Zeus, I just actually saw his package.  I'm frankly surprised that Dirk Diggler doesn't have a significant balance problem.  Because damn.

So that was Boogie Nights.  I've never really tried to hide my love for Mark Wahlberg, and I actually can't believe it's taken me this long to see the movie that established him as a leading actor.  He does a really good job here.  I think the story is well-developed, there's a mansion filled with secondary characters that are worth watching, and overall I think it's a good film.  There's a lot of different storylines going on, but they all feel like they're given the right amount of attention and, what's more, they ring true to the characters and the culture of the 70s porn industry.  Although I do feel a little like I need to take a shower to get all the sleazy 70s grime off me.  Like, now.

That's it for me.  Thanks for reading, and come back next time for The Terminator!

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Anonymous said...

Hahaha, enjoyed this, very clever! I've never seen the movie, sounds sleazy as hell, think I'll see if I can watch it free somewhere online!

Stephen S said...

Hoffman was born to play sleazy, but he can do other stuff; in David Mamet's "State and Main" he's excellent as the innocent scriptwriter who gets in over his head, for example.

I have not seen Boogie Nights for years (10 years?) your review makes me want to watch it again!

Daniel Cournoyer said...

I love the scene where Reilley and Marky Mark are trying to sing together and it's just a disaster. I can't imagine trying to sing that poorly. And I love what you said about being an extra. How low on the pole can you get? An extra in a porno - ouch.

Seb said...

Best bit is when Don Cheadle goes to the ice cream and a gunfight ensues. Too bad he didn't get his ice cream...
Also, I am surprised he can't sing, he's Marky Mark!

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