Pecker (1998) / Comedy-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for sexuality, graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Running Time: 87 min.
Cast: Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci, Lili Taylor, Mary Kay Place, Martha Plimpton
Director: John Waters
Screenplay: John Waters
Review published April 25, 1999
A young Baltimore lad nicknamed Pecker (Furlong, Terminator 2) spends his time taking picture with his thrift store camera of his weird friends and family and displays them in his own photography exhibit. His photographs are a huge sensation, and soon a New York art agent decides to put up his photos on display for the New York crown and soon Pecker becomes the latest rage in the art world. Unfortunately his hobby adversely affects all those people he showcases in his photographs and soon finds that his success is costing him the cherished, simple life he once had.
Written and directed by the highly eccentric filmmaker, John Waters (Serial Mom, Cry-Baby), this quirky comedy will most likely please his die-hard fans but not anyone else. All of the characters are one-dimensionally eccentric themselves, and while they are likeable they aren't really all that funny. Waters may have felt that by stocking up his film with hilariously quirky characters, the film would breed hilarious consequences when they interacted, but all it merely generates is lewd and crude humor that may generate a chuckle here and there, but never delivers a genuinely laugh-out-loud moment.
The film does manage to evoke a certain charm in its own goofy way, similar to the way Adam Sandler films do, but the film lacks the intelligence and screenwriting to make it anything more than mildly amusing fare. The plot of "the small town kid who strikes it big and realizes what he always dreamt of isn't what it was cracked up to be" has been done so often and so much better that it basically negates this film's reason to exist.
Endearing-but-idiotic fare for John Waters fans only.
©1999 Vince Leo