A Baltimore sandwich shop employee becomes an overnight sensation when photographs he's taken of his weird family become the latest rage in the art world. The young man is called "Pecker" ... See full summary »
With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.
A Baltimore sandwich shop employee becomes an overnight sensation when photographs he's taken of his weird family become the latest rage in the art world. The young man is called "Pecker" because he pecks at his food like a bird. Written by
Joe Blevins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Pecker's camera is an early model of the Canonet, a compact camera made over a period of more than a decade (primarily in the 1960s) by Canon for the consumer market. The camera takes so-so pictures, and today might be worth $20-$40, when it can be found. It is entirely plausible that Pecker might find such a camera in a thrift store, at a garage sale, or the like. See more »
When Pecker's mom exits the gallery in New York a cab goes by from the "Checker" cab company of Baltimore. See more »
A monotonous excursion through recycled screenplay odds and ends
After making grotesque pictures with heavy commentary subtly thrown in, writer/director John Waters ventures out of his comfort zone and jumps into the mainstream world. Pecker is a landmark for Waters since this is his first effort that was very mainstream in 1998, but for audiences and fans of his older work, it will most likely be a mediocre excursion. At least it's over pretty quickly.
Nothing in Pecker is very funny. It lacks the satire and wit of Waters' previous pictures that weren't in his comfort zone. In his more modern films like, Cry-Baby and Serial Mom, I was able to retract a moral, a message, or even a clever parody element currently absent from Hollywood films. I wasn't able to pick up too much from Pecker, although it might be trying to play off of the rags to riches formula. If it is, it's too subtle to even notice.
The story revolves around a teen nicknamed Pecker (Furlong). Apparently, he pecks at his food a lot and, viola, a strangely placed, perhaps innuendo-driven name was born. Nevermind. Pecker is an amateur photographer, which is already annoying. He is constantly snapping pictures. Click, click, click. Snap, snap, snap. And he never stops. It's almost maddening to see how many times he does it. Granted, real photographers don't care if you're in the middle of a conversation, if something appears to be interesting they'll interrupt you with a snap of a camera. It is realistic, but it's incredibly overdone.
Pecker takes pictures of all kinds of things. From random facial expressions to private parts and sex acts. He captures them all. His long suffering girlfriend (Ricci) is oblivious to art, and she pretty much captures the personality of the rest of us as we wait for Pecker to break new ground or for Waters to win us over with some great comedic relief. But it's like waiting for Christmas in the dead of July. It's not going to come anytime soon, and it's foolish to expect such an occurrence.
Pecker's work becomes recognized by a famous art dealer. His dysfunctional family is the ones that are the true victim to his acts. They are the ones exploited, and Pecker just sits back, wondering if he did anything to start this. One character that I found cute, but very underwritten (much like Christina Ricci's character) was the borderline kleptomaniac best friend of Pecker played by Brendan Sexton III, a terrific and underrated talent in the world of film. The problem is he never gets his time to shine either. Instead he's replaced by such desperate antics like Pecker's grandmother's talking Mary statue that is nothing but a frozen plot device that is practically useless. Not to mention, the film's love affair with constant flat jokes.
Waters' regulars like Mary Vivian Pearce and Mink Stole are here, but not in mass amounts. Perhaps including Mink Stole as the grandmother would've provided a great deal of laughs. Laugh at you must but it would (1) make Pecker more tolerable than it already is, and (2) be the perfect, out of place role for her since she did such a wonderful job in Female Trouble as a fourteen year old girl who didn't look any younger than thirty.
I've always said that anyone can throw on a cheesy costume and make a parody, many can make an homage to their favorite film, but only few could pull of a very good satire. John Waters can pull of a great satire and possibly do all of those other things very well. So why did he choose to focus on a film with no wit, direction, fun, laughs, or purpose? Pecker isn't long at eighty-six minutes, but becomes a monotonous excursion through recycled screenplay odds and ends before eventually arriving at a questionably worthy conclusion. What the *click* was that all about? Starring: Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci, and Brendan Sexton III. Directed by: John Waters.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?