Time: 152 mins.
Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Reynolds), Best Supporting Actress (Moore) and Best Original Screenplay.
I heard a lot of great things about BOOGIE NIGHTS and was looking forward to loving this movie. Unfortunately, it was trying to be the PULP FICTION of the porno industry. I understand what Anderson was going for trying to bring out the humor and innocence of the 70's, interweaving the lives of the various players in the adult film world but it ultimately doesn't work. It never captures the souls of its characters. BOOGIE NIGHTS fills the screen with beautiful people that have nothing to do and nowhere to grow.
The main character was supposed to be Mark Wahlberg's Dirk Diggler, a young, extremely well-endowed young man who uses his "gift" to make the world a better place through his adult films. He's brought into the business by Burt Reynold's character, Jack Horner, a director whose dream is to direct porno films that have a plot and meaning. Burt was so good, I actually wish the film was about him. I understand he initially tried to disassociate himself from the movie (I guess he thought it would be total trash, instead of being so critically acclaimed), but he had no need. His portrayal is honest and endearing. He really made me believe that his character was just trying to make the best movies he could. While the film focuses on this aspect, it's actually quite interesting and enjoyable. However, once Burt leaves the scene, it's all downhill from there for the characters and the audience.
Wahlberg's character ends up becoming a major porno film star, which of course, leads him to delusions of grandeur and drug abuse. I was in grammer school through most of the 70's and early 80's, so the drug scene is nothing I can really relate to. I understand it was a big part of the culture, probably a huge part in the adult film industry. However, I don't think any film should devote what seemed like the entire final third of the film to people snorting things up their noses. After the first 10 times they did it, I got the point. Move on. Perhaps this would be the point for a little character development. Unfortunately, we get more drugs and mayhem as we accompany Dirk on his fast-track to the bottom. Who would have thought a life in the glamourous and exciting world of porn could turn out so terribly?