Comedy writer Jerry Stahl, whose $6000-a-week heroin habit had him taking his infant daughter along on his drug runs and doing smack during TV script conferences. Departing detox, Stahl ... See full summary »
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Donal Lardner Ward
Donal Lardner Ward,
Comedy writer Jerry Stahl, whose $6000-a-week heroin habit had him taking his infant daughter along on his drug runs and doing smack during TV script conferences. Departing detox, Stahl explores memories with survivor Kitty, who listens patiently to Stahl's flashback. Other women in Stahl's life are his British wife Sandra and his agent Vola. For the TV series "Mr. Chompers" (inspired by ALF), Stahl meets with sitcom exec Craig Ziffer and puppeteer Allen. For freaky freebasing, Stahl hangs with mumbler Nicky and druggie Gus. Written by
The real Jerry Stahl has a cameo as Dr. Lazarus. ("Lazarus" is on his name plate on his white coat.) See more »
When Jerry is at the methadone clinic, the doctor is checking boxes on a form he's filling out. The questions he asks Jerry do not match the boxes he checks. See more »
You know what's mortifying? Smack is like the leisure suit of the nineties. Instead of wrecking dad's Buick on prom might, these little suburban fucks are coping habits and OD'ing in the rec room.
And you're different, because?
I never got to the prom.
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I saw it once before, years ago, and it left an indelible impression on me. I watched it again just ten minutes ago, and I am confirmed in my praise.
The performances are tops, the story dark but very funny - and factual
based on Jerry Stahl's book of the same name. Jerry Stahl is played
by Ben Stiller in his most challenging yet most convincing role to date. It's a real privilege to watch such a performance.
Mind you, I'm not exactly Ben Stiller's biggest fan (to be fair, I have enjoyed a few of his films), and Jerry Stahl was the writer of the TV show ALF; while that could have been a turn-off for me, it wasn't. Sure, there have been some moralizing, vanilla critics who couldn't stomach the overabundance of drug abuse depicted, but I really think too many of them found it hard to rate the film objectively due to what they took as an affront to their precious sensitivities. Which is not to say this film didn't get its share of raving reviews. It's a black comedy, an incomprehensibly strange creature for some, but a true friend to others.
If you're smarter than most people, and you can take your entertainment black, see this one.
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