Stole/Isaak/Hearst/Blair ~ Dirty Shame
When prissy, prickly Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman) suffers a head injury during a traffic altercation, she's, er, revived by self-appointed sexual missionary Ray-Ray Perkins (Johnny Knoxville) and is transformed into an insatiable, take-no-prisoners sex maniac. Yes, it's a John Waters film. Yes, it's filthy. No, it's not as hilarious and sustained as you'd like it to be. It works for a while, though: Ullman, never a stingy comedienne, does everything Waters dares her to do without hesitation; words cannot describe the perversely sporting delight with which she mounts a water bottle during a round of "The Hokey Pokey" at an old folks' home. And there's some fun to be had when Sylvia's emancipation leads her Baltimore 'burb to new heights of ecstasy, freeing her large-breasted daughter Caprice (Selma Blair) while horrifying husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) and her hardline mother Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd, hysterical) in the process. It's also packed with the standard cameos, the most satisfying of which is good old Patty Hearst at a Sex Addicts Anonymous encounter. But, for all the nasty, necessary glee, the movie feels inescapably been-there-done-that, and you can't help but wish this was 1972 and Divine was on hand to prowl for dog droppings. The most shocking thing about A Dirty Shame
is how desperate and tiresome its anarchy becomes.--Steve Wiecking
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.