Boogie Nights (1997)

The opening shot of Boogie Nights is a three minute long tracking shot that introduces almost all of the main characters of the film.  It is easily better than the entirety of Bucky Larson, which has a similar theme of a heretofore unknown becoming a big thing in the pornography industry.  This movie was essentially Paul Thomas Anderson’s first real studio film, and it is an epic spanning two and a half hours of late 70s to early 80s porn history.  And really all I want to talk about is Rollergirl (Heather Graham).

Or more specifically, the Rollergirl that I met years and years ago.  Back in the late 90s to early 2000s, I used to be a big bar goer.  There was this one club in Calgary called Outlaws, and every Wednesday night was Boogie Night there.  My work schedule worked out in favour of that, so I frequented it pretty much every week.  One of the first times I was there, our waitress was dressed up as Heather Graham’s character in this movie, Rollergirl.  She was gorgeous, stunning, and funny.  We’d buy her a shot, next time she came ’round she’d get our shots.  I don’t remember how it all happened, but I actually got a waitress’ phone number, and I’m pretty sure by the end of the night we were about to kiss and something happened.  I cling to silly memories like this for some reason.

Anyways, it’s a great movie, but the running time of two and a half hours certainly works against it.  I started writing this thing about halfway through the movie, and I’m pretty sure there’s still a quarter of it left to go.  It features spectacular cinematography, excellent acting, great writing, and a massive cast that all went on to bigger things, or died (Robert Ridgely).  This movie was a huge break for numerous careers, and without it we probably never would have There Will Be Blood which may be one of the greatest movies of all time.  Not for the prude of mind, it’s a dark tale of how fleeting fame can be and how devastating the burning out is.

Ugh, originally I was going with a 4 for the movie, but it’s just far too long.  There are so many little trims Anderson could make to the movie that would actually improve it, in my opinion that is.

3.5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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