Permanent Midnight

Director: David Veloz
Year Released: 1998
Rating: 0.5

Dull, repetitious filmization of the Jerry Stahl autobiography about how he had wrote television scripts (in particular, Alf, referred to here as "Mr. Chompers") and made big money in Hollywood, only to waste it on a pricey smack habit. Beyond that, it has nothing more to add, and isn't remotely gripping, unique or fascinating. The whole thing is nothing but a series of fragments and episodes which don't amount to anything notable, held in place by a conversation between Stahl (played by Ben Stiller who is really miscast) and a one-night stand (Maria Bello). Most scenes consist of either Stiller (a.) doing drugs or (b.) making out with beautiful women. Wow. If the film's trying to achieve a "sense of despair," it's misdirected. If it's a parable about drug addiction, Mr. Boyle and his Trainspotting crew beat you to the punch. I hope the book is better.