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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 Brian Koller
2½ stars out of 4

There is much to like and dislike about Howard Stern. Radio's #1 bad-boy, he is a shock jock who tests the taboos of society. Of course he can be a real jerk, but underneath it all, he's just an average guy and a wonderful family man. Or so he repeatedly tells us, as he plays footsie with naked bimbos while on the air. It's just a joke, get it?

Perhaps Stern has the greatest job in America, getting paid zillions of dollars to express his outrageous opinions on the air, which includes the hiring of hit men to kill people that he dislikes. But it takes talent to ad lib with such flair, and it has to be admitted: Howard Stern is funny, much, much more so than Jerry Springer could ever hope to be, and that is a very redeeming quality.

"Private Parts" tells the Stern saga, rising from clumsy, nerdy college DJ to NBC's flagship radio station in New York. Along the way he marries blonde goddess Mary McCormack, whom he nearly loses due to his radio prattle about his marital intimacies, and his on-air flirtations with bimbo guests and call-ins.

Although (both thankfully and surprisingly) the First Amendment is never mentioned, Stern fights the good fight against censorship, battling a dislikable program manager (Paul Giamatti, dubbed "Pig Vomit" by Stern) for the all-important right to say 'cock' on the air. Wisely, director Betty Thomas softens Stern's persona, downplaying the occasional hatred and emphasizing Stern's role as a family man.

Also appearing in "Private Parts", and also playing themselves, are Stern's radio show cohorts Robin Quivers, Fred Norris, and Jackie Martling. Quivers is especially good.

That "Private Parts" is a modestly good film is not a surprise, given Stern's talent for dialogue. While the film could not have been much better, given his limitations, it could have been much worse, as most comedies are. "Private Parts" is well structured and avoids repetition, and is more than willing to place Stern in embarassing situations. The film never drags and a good laugh is always around the corner.

Copyright 1997 Brian Koller

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