A Dirty Shame (2004)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B

USA, 2004.  Fine Line Features, , , , .  Screenplay by John Waters.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

 is a frigid, angry housewife who cannot satisfy the needs of her wholesome husband () and is ashamed of her mega-breasted exotic dancer daughter (). After suffering a hit to the head her libido is awakened and she is inducted into a pro-sex cult by a snake-tongued guru () who encourages her to embrace her feelings of lust. While Ullman attacks the entire town looking for satisfaction, her prudish mother () is trying to rally up the citizens of their town to oppose the perversion of sexual bliss; it isn’t long before an all-out war breaks out between fornicators and tightwads.

John Waters wants us all to realize that sex wouldn’t be such a big deal if we just enjoyed it responsibly (even if his idea of responsible isn’t everybody else’s), it’s the people who suppress natural human pleasures that make the world a bad place, and it is fear, not indulgence, that causes societal decomposition.  Unfortunately, the message is painfully obvious while the experience of watching the film is just painful, Ullman is the greatest comedienne out there and is always worth your time (and the way she delivers lines like “My pussy is on fire!” is like nobody’s business), but bad performances, bad writing and incredibly bad humour keep this from achieving the success of Waters’ earlier cult hits.

Toronto International Film Festival:  2004

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