Director : David Veloz
With : Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Hurley, Janeane Garofalo
Movies about junkies are less common than movies about people with serious coke habits. This is largely because it makes people less squeamish to watch someone doing a line than it does to watch someone tying up and shoving a needle into arms, feet and other unimaginable places. “Permanent Midnight” is the true story about comedy writer Jerry Stahl (the guy responsible for the stellar dialogue on the sitcom “Alf”) and his descent into the dark world of heroin addiction.
At first it’s hard to take Ben Stiller seriously as the heroin crazed hipster, but Stiller has, as with every movie, proven himself profoundly versatile. Although playing a heroin junkie was an imaginative experience, having never used the drug himself, Stiller is said to have lost 30 pounds to better look the part of the twisted and bleary-eyed junkie. Stiller, dressed-in-black leather pants and jacket, does a good job of looking and sounding the part of the transplanted New Yorker, which he is, gone Hollywood to “get away from all the drugs.”
The story is told through a series of flashbacks, during a confessional evening in a motel room with another recovering drug addict. While recovering Stiller does his time frying fish in a fast food restaurant as the last step in the rehabilitation process. With the exception of some pretty explicit heroin shooting scenes, “Permanent Midnight” is a pretty easy watch featuring a good-looking cast (Elizabeth Hurley, Owen Wilson, Janeane Garofalo) and some entertaining dialogue.