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Private Parts (1997)

DVD Cover (Paramount)
Genres:
Biopic (Feature), Comedy, Media Satire, Romantic Comedy
Director:
Betty Thomas Betty Thomas
Starring:
Howard Stern Howard Stern
Robin Quivers Robin Quivers
Mary McCormack Mary McCormack
Fred Norris Fred Norris
Paul Giamatti Paul Giamatti

6.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: July 10, 2007
Howard Stern has had a pretty incredible life when you think about it. Here's a skinny Jewish kid from New York with a face that - to put it nicely - was made for radio, and he's went on to become one of the most well-known names in radio history, written two bestselling books, had a long-running television show, ran for governor of New York, started his own movie production company, and yes, starred in his own biographical movie that premiered at #1 on the charts. All of this from a guy who is best known for sexual, racial, and fart jokes - don't you love America?

Howard Stern plays himself in the film, which begins with his upbringing as a kid and ends with him becoming the top-rated radio personality in America. We watch as he starts out as a DJ who is removed from the airwaves for not having a good voice and for having zero personality, marries his long-time girlfriend Alison (Mary McCormack), moves on to the big time by working for NBC, battles the censors at this station who want to "tame" him into becoming more radio-friendly like that Don Imus guy (oh, the irony), and finally, we witness the larger-than-life celebration of his newfound "top ranked radio personality" status courtesy of a concert by AC/DC in the streets of downtown New York. Going along with Howard for the ride are his sidekicks Robin Quivers, Fred Norris, and Jackie Martling (all played by themselves), and Paul Giamatti plays Kenny 'Pig Vomit' Rushton, the ever-censoring thorn in Stern's side.

I should probably get this out of the way right off the bat: I'm a pretty big fan of Howard Stern and I love the offensive style of comedy that he is best known for. I may be a bit biased as a result of this, but truth be told, I think that just about anyone would enjoy the film regardless of their personal opinions about the man himself. Yes, there are some rather dirty jokes found in here, and yes, there is a good deal of humor that some may find sexist (watch for the infamous "speaker orgasm" and Jenna Jameson's cameo), but there's also a damned fine story about the man's life and some truly hilarious moments as well.

Now, I realize that I said that I'm a big fan of the guy, but I should also point out that I'm not one of those obsessive fanboys who follows each and every one of his shows and knows everything there is to know about the man's personal life. Therefore, I couldn't tell you how much of the events found within are completely accurate and how much of the material was changed around for the film. The screenplay was based on Stern's biography of the same name so I would imagine it's mostly true, but again, I'm not the person to go to when it comes to breaking down the accuracy of the details.

I particularly enjoyed Stern's performance in what was his first starring role in a film. Now, I'm well aware that he was basically playing himself and obviously, the man has a little experience with telling jokes; however, other personalities have tried this in the past with less than stellar results, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Thankfully, that was not the case with Stern, as he came across as a seasoned veteran in the world of acting and never once seemed out of place in front of the camera. Not to be outdone, Paul Giamatti also turns in one hell of a performance as the sleazy network executive who wants nothing more than to make Stern quit his job by dictating what can and can not be said on the air. While I enjoyed the hell out of Stern's performance, I have to admit that Giamatti stole more than a couple of scenes away from the leading man. Put these two together and throw in enjoyable performances from Stern's sidekicks, and you've got one hell of a funny movie.

Being a fan of Howard Stern will probably allow you to enjoy the film more, but again, this is not a prerequisite for picking it up. The movie is genuinely funny, the performances are great all around, there's plenty of humorous cameos for those of you with a sharp eye for that sort of thing, and the overall product is just classic. 10/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 07/12/2007, 10:10 AM
Love him or hate him, "Private Parts" is funny as hell and dead-on with its portrayal of Howard Stern's life. Howard Stern, as himself, is far more credible and serious than you'd ever imagine and he does a hysterical job with the material. Paul Giamatti steals the show with one of the greatest motion picture lines ever utter -- "Stern -- you are the god damned mother fucking anti-christ!" I love everything about this film. It just works. 10/10.
Luminaire #2: Luminaire - added 11/22/2007, 04:58 PM
Love Howard Stern, people look at his as grotesque, immature and a pig, but the man has really changed the face of radio as we know it. The worlds needs one or two people like Howard Stern to push the limits and step beyond the boundaries everyones so afraid to cross. 8.5/10
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