Film Scouts Reviews

"Permanent Midnight"

by Jason Gorber

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The proliferation of sub-genres in Hollywood continues to impress. You can imagine the pitch for this film - "yeah, it's LEAVING LAS VEGAS meets WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, with the heroin stuff from TRAINSPOTTING!! The kids will LOVE it!!!". Catchy pitch aside, in this land of permanent midnight, you just want to curl up and go to bed.

Ben Stiller portrays a heroin junkie. Yes, Ben Stiller. The guy who masturbates in that Farelley bros. film. Who directed the abysmal REALITY BITES. Yeah, him. Junkie. Rolling around with blackened eyes, shooting patterns of blood on the drop ceilings from his syringe. The whole stoner shebang.

This is an autobiography, so it makes one want to go write television sitcoms and children's puppet shows even less. This, perhaps, is the one redeeming pedagogical facet of what in the end in a boring descent into ones mans boring misery, only to see him boringly recover and boringly boink some woman he picked up at his rehab gig, a burger drive through joint (do they REALLY make you do stuff like that after detox? I mean, FOOD SERVICE for god sakes?!)

The most telling part of the film is that the woman who is Stiller's confessor/shag muffin tells none of her story. She just goes to Alaska. That's pretty sad, really. Her pain and suffering might have made for a better film. Despite the ever radiant Janeane Garofalo breathing a light breath of fresh air with her too-tiny role, this film is in the end quite bad.

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