Bil’s rating (out of 5): B. USA, 2004. Fine Line Features, This Is That Productions, Killer Films, John Wells Productions, City Lights Pictures. Screenplay by John Waters. Cinematography by Steve Gainer. Produced by Ted Hope, Christine Vachon. Music by George S. Clinton. Production Design by Vincent Peranio. Costume Design by Van Smith. Film Editing by Jeffrey Wolf. Toronto International Film Festival 2004.
Tracey Ullman is a frigid, angry housewife who cannot satisfy the needs of her wholesome husband (Chris Isaak) and is ashamed of her mega-breasted exotic dancer daughter (Selma Blair). After suffering a hit to the head, however, her libido is awakened and she is inducted into a pro-sex cult by a snake-tongued guru (Johnny Knoxville) who encourages her to embrace her feelings of lust. While Ullman attacks the entire town looking for satisfaction, her prudish mother (Suzanne Shepherd) 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’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 the time (and the way she delivers lines like “My pussy is on fire!” is like nobody’s business), but the film is just garbage. Bad performances, bad writing and incredibly bad humour, and not in the rebellious, intentional way that makes Waters such a popular hit with cult audiences.