A Dirty Shame

Director: John Waters
Year Released: 2004
Rating: 1.0

Waters' Ode to Sexual Addiction and Acceptance of Various 'Harmless' Paraphilias (eating filth, dressing up as a baby, loving fat, hairy men who growl) is sex-positive and encourages feeling good as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, but this really isn't much of a movie, as the supposed conflict between those that encourage free-love and those that oppose it (the "Neuters," led by Mink Stole) is a flaccid, shallow 'war' (it's like the pro-drug '60s movies - there are those that get it, man, and those that don't). The 'shock' of Waters' early films was that he was making them with real freaks (not Hollywood freaks, a different lot altogether) in the suburbs with a minimal budget and a lot of imagination, but now he's become a Celebrity in his own right - and given relatively well-known 'actors' (in the case of the overbearing Tracey Ullman and the dazed and ditzy Selma Blair, I use the term very loosely) and a budget in the millions - it loses some of that trailer-trash authenticity that came across so easily with, say, Female Trouble. He's still good with the one-liners, though - "Look, I'm not a prude. I'm married to an Italian" is but an example of the wit he usually shows in his 'stand-up' routine (the genuinely creepy "This Filthy World"), interviews and articles (for ArtForum).