Larry Flynt vs. Hugh Hefner. Who is the better porno seller.
Notorious pornographer Larry Flynt (Woody Harrelson) carries his free-speech campaign from lowly strip clubs to the U.S. Supreme Court in this film about censorship and the sex industry from director Milos Forman. Blending details of the Hustler publisher’s legal battles with scenes from his personal life, the film also examines Flynt’s relationships with his lawyer (Edward Norton) and drug-addicted wife (Courtney Love).
Milos Forman, damn man, you got balls. And I’m not talking about normal-man balls, I mean huge badonka badonka balls. He really directs this film into total controversy, but for a good reason. The fact that Forman isn’t afraid to shy away from showing a lot of boobs, and some vagina, means that this guy is pretty brave. I mean even in today’s world of film, we always are never allowed to show vagina, but somehow he made it possible, and to do it about 20 times.
But it’s not just the fact that he’s able to show a lot of T & A for 130 minutes, no he’s able to also blend this well-written screenplay, with the film itself so perfectly. The writing touches on great ideas about freedom of speech, and the main message that comes out so well here in this film is that, “if the constitution will defend a sleazy asshole like this dude, the why wouldn’t defend people like us?’
The film has a deal of comedy in it, but i just wished there was more of that in this film. Too much of the film acted too seriously for its own good, and was just a little awkward when it tried to be funny. For example, there is a scene in court where, the judge is played by real-life Larry Flynt (as you can see they sexxed him up a lot adding Woody to the main role), and the scene stops for about 10 seconds just to focus on him, and it looked like they were trying to make the scene funnier with that addition, but just came off as being odd.
Woody Harrelson as Larry Flynt was a perfect choice, because Woody is alway’s playing those sleazy, dirt-bag characters so freakin’ well, and he adds a huge deal of character to Flynt, by putting more energy and comedy into this guy’s appearance. The surprising good performance here is Courtney Love. Yes, that Courtney Love. Her character goes through so many transitions, and every time Love makes it seem believable. It’s crazy how some coked-up broad can get her character right, when some can’t even do it right. Although, I think in this movie she was basically playing herself, but hey, that’s just me. Oh and theirs a young Edward Norton here too, funny how he’s playing a lawyer, the same year he would win a Golden Globe for playing a victim in Primal Fear.
Consensus: The People vs. Larry Flynt raises some good questions about censorship and freedom of speech, which are backed up by incredible performances, but never fully go the extra mile to become a fully developed film.