Movie Name: Private Parts
Studio: Rysher Entertainment
Release Date(s): February 27, 1997 (Premiere)/March 7, 1997 (US)
MPAA Rating: R
Howard Stern has a dream of being the biggest DJ of all time. As he pursues his dream, he finds himself trying to balance his on-air personality with his home life with his surprisingly understanding wife Alison (Mary McCormack). Howard’s shock-jock approach to radio doesn’t sit well with everyone…including all the management he works with. When Howard and his team of Robin Quivers and Fred Norris hit New York City and NBC, his new boss Kenny “Pig Vomit” Rushton (Paul Giamatti) thinks he can stop Howard’s behavior…and Pig Vomit is in for a surprise!
Directed by Betty Thomas, Private Parts adapts Howard Stern’s 1993 book. The film was released to positive reviews for both the film and Howard Stern and a strong box office returns.
I am not a huge comedian or Howard Stern fan. I don’t mind his humor but his ego is a little tough to deal with at points and if I’m listening to the radio, I generally like music. That being said, Private Parts really impressed me and is actually rather touching.
The movie is about Howard’s rise, but it is also a romance. The movie tries to explain how a woman could deal with his on-air persona. The movie shows how it conflicts and clashes and this itself is better than the rather standard rise to fame. It is the nice temperance between the rise and the relationship which makes the movie work.
Howard Stern also comes off as much more understandable. His wife “get him” and actress Mary McCormack seems to have kismet with Stern. Paul Giamatti is a scene stealer as the hopelessly broken Pig Vomit. The movie also includes Stern’s real-life co-workers Robin Quivers (who I feel is out of line to demand that Howard would quit with her when it seems that only in the system would he ever get her back). The movie also features cameos by AC/DC, John Stamos, John Popper, Flavor Flav, Ted Nugent, Mia Farrow, Slash, Ozzy Osbourne, Dee Snider, MC Hammer, and Tiny Tim.
The movie is an interesting blend. It uses skits from Howard Stern’s shows, voiceovers, and interviews. It also has fun with the idea of Howard playing himself despite his age difference. It is all done in a rather clever way.
The only real problem with Private Parts is that real events make the movie lose its emotional punch. Shortly after the movie’s release, Howard Stern separated and divorced from Alison. It is the tragic ending to a rather nice romance…and taints the film. It is hard to put this out of your mind while watching the film, but if you can, the film is rather inspiring.