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Private Parts

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Private Parts

Starring: Howard Stern, Robin Quivers
Director: Betty Thomas
Rated: R
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: March 1997
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Mary McCormack, Paul Giamatti, Fred Norris, Gary Dell'abate

Review by Walter Frith
1½ stars out of 4

Shock jock Howard Stern's rise to stardom in the radio business is profiled in 'Private Parts'. The picture is based on Stern's best selling novel and literally traces the earliest days of his life as a child growing up on Long Island to his rise and eventual success as a media phenomenon. Despite intense controversy over Stern's vocal tactics which include topics dealing with just about everything explicit and sexual in society, the choice is easy, like him or hate him. Those who hate Stern need to simply tune him out but his fans (who have been criticized by media analysts as 'undesirables') have launched his program to national syndication for well over ten years.

The central focus of 'Private Parts' is not just Stern's dealings in the media but rather on his personal life as we see him go through college to his humble beginnings at radio stations in Detroit, Hartford, Washington D.C. and New York City. All the while the movie centres on Stern's relationship with his wife Alison (Mary McCormack). The movie strives to inform us that Stern isn't who he seems to be on the radio but that it's all just an act and that he's really a decent, loyal and loving husband and father of three.

Unfortunately for the audience, the entire film is dull, flat, repetitive at times and makes its point and yet continues to bash us over the head with Stern's antics. Director Betty Thomas ('The Brady Bunch Movie') is not the best person qualified to sit at the helm of this very intense and mesmerizing adult subject matter. The movie is disappointingly tame for Howard's true fans and for the rest of us, we wonder exactly what the point of the entire picture is since it seems to have a split personality.

Filmmaker Ivan Reitman ('Stripes', 'Ghostbusters', 'Twins', 'Kindergarten Cop', 'Junior') is in the producer's chair for this one and along with screenwriters Len Blum and Michael Kalesniko they have made what isn't necessarily a bad film, just one that isn't very exciting and Stern's fans should be patient as I'm sure the next film ( if there is one) will be much jucier and at par with what Howard Stern's career is really all about. There is an interesting rumour circulating that may interest a lot of movie fans. 'Batman and Robin' which is the fourth chapter since 1989 in the story of the Caped Crusader is due out June 20th and if 'Private Parts' does well at the box office, there's talk of approaching Howard Stern in the hopes of casting him in the fifth chapter as one of the film's villains. I'm not kidding!!!

Copyright 1997 Walter Frith

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