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A Dirty Shame

  • compiled by Peter T. Chattaway Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jan
A Dirty Shame
from Film Forum, 09/23/04

Meanwhile, John Waters has directed his latest foray into bad taste. A Dirty Shame, which is rated NC-17, is about a sexually dysfunctional family in a blue-collar Baltimore neighborhood that gets involved in a cult of sex addicts led by Jackass's Johnny Knoxville. Waters' obsession with all manner of sexual euphemisms and fetishes grows tiring very quickly, and Harry Forbes (Catholic News Service) says it just isn't funny. "What's really the dirty shame here is that … this movie is, at best, only fitfully amusing, and, for most of its 86-minute running time, less than that." He also objects to the film's more sacrilegious elements: "Toward the end of the film, there's a denigrating of Christian symbols and rituals which Catholic viewers will find particularly offensive, as if everything that preceded it wasn't bad enough."

The handful of mainstream critics who have reviewed it so far seem to like it.