Permanent Midnight

Bomb Rating: 

The subject of this film -- the heroin addiction of television writer Jerry Stahl (Ben Stiller) -- falls under the increasingly ubiquitous category which encapsulates so many L.A. films these days, the "Who in Their Right Mind Really Gives an Airborne Turd?" category. There are few things that working people would find less interesting than dipshit Jerry and the details of his "you made your bed, now lie in it" L.A. lifestyle. Here are some of them:

1. Details of Jerry Springers' suppository addiction
2. The little-known Kenneth Starr/Bea Arthur phone-sex tapes
3. What exactly Oprah and Steadman look like in the sixty-nine position

This is the second film in a couple months that opens with Ben Stiller not just screwing some woman, but screwing her from behind. The whole "doggie" motif that Stiller seems to be pursuing is enough to make me projectile vomit every kernel of movie popcorn I've ever eaten with enough force to puncture the wall and kill people in the adjoining theater. It's about as appealing as going to the zoo and watching the jizz monkeys periodically scatter the gathered crowd. You don't stand there and watch as if the monkeys know something you don't. It's exactly the same with Ben Stiller... and even if he does know something I don't, I'm still not going to pay money to stand there and watch him.

In a nutshell this film follows Jerry (Stiller) from writing job to writing job, occasionally talking to his wife (Elizabeth Hurley), confessing things to Kitty (Maria Bello) and shooting up whenever he gets the chance. Eventually he gets clean and ends up on talk shows and the moral seems to be: Do enough heroin and live to tell about it, and you too can have somebody make a movie about you.

Is anybody else sick of these self-involved, self-pitying Hollywood films? Jerry Stahl made five grand a week and shot it all up his arm. Well boo-fucking-hoo. Is this supposed to teach me that shooting heroin is not a good idea? We'll guess what, Sparky? Gas up the Range Rover and get out of L.A., and you'll be shocked to discover that most of America has already figured that out.

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