Monday, August 01, 2005


This is the best John Waters film since the Divine era, and is an interesting bridge between his latest "cute" work (Pecker, Serial Mom, etc.) and the radically vulgar stuff (Female Trouble, Pink Flamingos). Harford Road in Baltimore is the setting for Waters' own salvo in the culture wars, as a sect of divinely inspired sex addicts (including Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair, and Tracy Ullman) fuck themselves silly. Meanwhile, a group of impotent/unorgasmic nay-sayers (the Neuters) fight back.

Lots of in-jokes make A Dirty Shame fun, including a teasing portrayal of DC expats moving into Baltimore and lovingly restoring the Formstone on their new home, and a guy so disgusted with the degenerates on Harford Road that he says "Christ, I'm moving to Towson." I've always had a crush on Ullman, so seeing her perv out was a treat. Chris Isaak is great, as are the Waters regulars (Patty Hearst, Mink Stole, etc).

I still wish John would let himself go and make something truly disgusting again--as raunchy as it is, A Dirty Shame is still mostly cute and mostly harmless, but the David Hasselhoff cameo alone is worth the price of admission!

And speaking of cute and mostly harmless:

Cha liked this more than I, mostly because she related to its daughter-of-immigrants experience angle. I've seen so many of these sport movies with an outsider struggling for acceptance that they fail to register, but Bend It Like Beckham has a certain charm nonetheless. I really liked the DVD bonus material with an Aloo Ghobi cooking lesson.