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"PRIVATE PARTS"
(1997) (Howard Stern, Mary McCormack) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor Moderate None *Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Minor Minor Minor Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A semi-autobiographical look at the life and times of radio "shock jock" Howard Stern.
PLOT:
The story follows the life of Howard Stern (playing himself) and the pivotal events that led to him becoming radio’s number one controversial celebrity. As we follow along from his childhood through college and beyond, we see Howard meet sound effects man Fred Norris (playing himself), newswoman and sidekick Robin Quivers (playing herself), and future wife Alison (Mary McCormack). As his on air persona develops, Stern finds himself embroiled in controversy everywhere he goes, including NBC radio where he must deal with station manager Kenny (Paul Giamatti). In addition, between the "biographical" bits, we see Howard’s co-worker Gary Dell'Abate (playing himself) trying to get people to promote certain segments of the movie.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Stern's radio show or are curious about the controversy that surrounds him, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong language, nudity and crude sexual humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HOWARD STERN plays himself, a man who learns that he’s most successful (on the radio) when he’s brutally honest and blunt. He does many things to shock people, including talking about sex and performing sexual skits on the air, while blatantly ignoring his various bosses' orders.
  • MARY MCCORMACK plays Howard's wife, who must put up with his on-air personality while loving his "at home" self.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10
    This is a movie that has a definite split personality. The first half is funny and at times charming as we see Stern in the early years from a child up through his early days in radio. What makes the movie work in this half is the fact that Stern pokes fun at himself for being a "geek." That makes him more endearing and gives him a human, and occasionally frail side. Our preview audience loved this half and often engaged in long bouts of laughter and knowing smiles. The second half, however, focuses on Stern after he becomes the "shock jock" and the self mockery fades away as we see more of what is generally considered the "real" Howard Stern. Thus, there are long radio bits that, while occasionally being funny, show no signs of that human quality that makes the first half of the movie surprisingly good. And that ruins those earlier feelings. Stern, however, is never portrayed as the true shock jock that he can be while on the air. Sure, there’s the blatant sexual material and discussion, but most of the put downs that Stern has become known for are missing, creating a homogenized version of his character. While he’s said that this movie portrayal of him is more true to life than most people visualize when they think of him — and that may be true for his personal life — this representation appears to be a rather "sugar- coated" version of his stage persona. Stern fans will no doubt love this movie, but it should be noted that even those die-hard fans didn’t find the second half as enjoyable as the first. With the laughter coming less frequently, Stern may well have done better to stick with the modest, self mockery that made half of the movie really good. By doing so he may have gained the cross over audience that possibly could have erased many stereotypes the public has of him. While in the end the movie survives its own fractured structure, it's not as good a film as it could have been. We give it a 6 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    That much said, and since teens will probably want to see this movie, parents should be cautioned about the extreme sexual content and profanity. There are many glimpses of nude women, and topics such as lesbianism, homosexuality and oral sex are talked about or simulated. Stern’s behavior isn’t the best either, as he talks about his and Alison’s personal lives on the air and frolics with the ladies even though he’s married. While many of the sex/nude scenes are played much more for laughs than for a sexual or sensual mood, they still contain explicit scenes. Beyond that, Stern smokes marijuana twice and there’s some focus on his "Fartman" character (with obvious farting sounds). Parents should note that since content is listed in chronological order, some of the more explicit sexual scenes occur toward the end of that category. We strongly suggest that you read through the scene listings to determine if this movie is appropriate for your children.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Howard smokes pot in two scenes (In, and after, high school).
  • Radio executives drink cocktails in a few scenes.
  • Fred spots liquor in a hotel room and says, "Hey, free drinks."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Howard is briefly seen and heard throwing up in a toilet after having had to fire someone for the first time.
  • Fake blood is seen in a student film that Howard shot.
  • Kenny has a bloody nose after he's hit with a phone that he's wrestled away from Howard.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Howard uses his personal life during his radio bits and talks about sex with his wife and about her miscarriage. For the latter he jokes with Alison about taking "a polaroid of the toilet" and then sending it to her parents and telling them "this is your grandson." Later on air, he does a bit with "God" talking to him about having his son in heaven.
  • Howard also sexually flirts with women on his show while Alison listens on at home or in the car.
  • Howard's father tells him (at a young age) to "shut up" and calls him a "moron."
  • Some boyhood friends of Howard's refer to black people as "niggers."
  • A blind woman turns down Howard for a date after she feels his facial features and comes across his nose.
  • Howard does a radio bit where he acts like a black female traffic reporter who repeatedly says, "Kill, kill, kill the white man."
  • The mentally ill are somewhat poked fun at during a picnic scene. Alison works with such patients and Howard tries to play frisbee with one, but the patient can’t catch the disc and is repeatedly hit in the face with it.
  • Fellow radio personality Don Imus is mean to Howard the first time they meet.
  • Howard prays to Jesus Christ and says, "Please send a hit man to kill ‘pig vomit’ (Kenny the NBC manager)."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Fake knife: Seen in a student film that Howard shot.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Screw," "Idiot," "Nigger," "Jerk," "Kiss my ass," "Pig vomit" (Howard's nickname for his boss), "Moron," "Shut up," "Bastard," "Sucked," "Bite me, you loser," "You're the motherf**king Anti-christ," "You're boning me," and "Pissed."
  • A woman says that once Howard gave away a toilet to the person with "the biggest bowel movement."
  • Howard is seen in his "Fartman" superhero costume and at one point he bends over and an exaggerated farting sound effect is played and the podium he's near is blown apart. Later, Stern farts while on the radio.
  • Howard gargles with Listerine to hide the smell of marijuana on his breath, and then swallows the mouthwash.
  • A woman dressed in a leather S&M outfit puts out her cigarette on the tongue of a man who’s tied up.
  • Howard makes up a story during a radio skit. In it, he claims to have killed eleven people in Vietnam. He says that he actually killed more as he threw a hand grenade into a school house and killed many children. Since kids are smaller than adults, however, he was only credited for the eleven kills. He then states that "...killing a kid should be just as good as killing an adult."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 38 "f" words (5 with the prefix "mother"), 9 "s" words, 13 slang terms for male genitals (the "c" and "d" words), 5 slang terms for female genitals (the "p" and "c" words), 13 "ass" words, 6 hells, 2 S.O.B.'s, 2 craps, 1 damn, and 9 uses of "Oh my God," 6 of "God damn," 5 of "For God's sakes," and 1 use each of "Oh God," "God," and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Howard's bare butt cheeks are seen in his "Fartman" superhero costume.
  • Howard sees a woman walk by on the street and then imagines her walking along in her bra. He then imagines her breasts comically getting bigger and bigger.
  • Howard (12-years-old), sensing that his puppet show is boring his audience, has his male and female puppets engage in sexual activity. The male hops on top of the female and he voices lines such as, "Oh, baby I want it," "Give it to me," and "You want it harder? Oh yes, harder" while making sexual moaning sounds.
  • Howard often refers to having a small penis and states that in high school the other male students "...had rhinoceros penises."
  • Bare male butts are seen in a high school locker room shower.
  • After being turned down for many dates, Howard states, "So, I masturbated a lot, a twice a day habit."
  • Howard and Alison make out on a bed and he works to unhook her bra and she undoes his zipper. No nudity or sexual movement is seen, and moments later Alison states that they didn't have sex. She later states, however, that although Howard complains about his penis size, "his penis is just fine." Later, Howard says that he moved in with Alison and they're seen in bed together when she climbs on top of him (but no nudity or movement is seen).
  • In a between the scenes clip, Gary asks a woman in a skimpy bikini to take off her top, but she refuses.
  • A "B" movie actress runs her hand up Howard's leg to his crotch during a screening of her movie. She later invites him back to her hotel room and he and Fred accompany her. She then undresses and her bare breasts and butt are seen. Howard and Fred join her in the bathtub (she's nude and they're in their underwear) and her bare breasts are seen again. She tells him that she knows "how to pleasure a man" and then runs her hands down under the bubbles to his crotch that causes him to jump up and out of the tub.
  • Howard explains that he doesn't understand the attraction to country music because "I never had sex with my daddy’s sister."
  • During a radio show, Howard talks about how he "didn’t get laid last night" and he then talks about "getting horny." He asks Robin if women "get horny" (she replies "sometimes") and then when she "last was with a man sexually" (she replies "over a year").
  • Howard then quotes a "sex expert" about how to attract women. He says, "...make sure you wear tight pants. If necessary, stuff a semi-rigid large object in your pants to create the appearance of having a large penis. Women like large penises..." He then states that the author "slept with over 16,000 women."
  • Alison tells Howard "I’m ovulating" and wants to have sex so they can have children. They take off part of their clothes (no nudity) and hop on the bed but the scene ends there.
  • Howard then talks on his radio show about getting "laid last night" and about his "super sperm." He then takes a call from a woman who wants to have sex over the phone. He tells her to turn up the bass on her speaker and to "put your private area over the woofer." The woman straddles the large speaker and then becomes aroused as Howard’s humming causes the speaker to vibrate. She then moves around on the speaker while running her hands over her breasts and then down to her crotch. Moments later her bare breasts are seen and she has an orgasm.
  • Howard talks about how "lesbians equal ratings" and interviews a woman who talks about her first lesbian encounter. He then fantasizes what it was like and two women are seen in skimpy outfits. One leads the other into a room where a lesbian orgy is occurring and women are seen kissing and fondling each other and more bare breasts are seen.
  • In a between the scenes clip, Gary tries to get a nude woman to get out of her car to do a promo. She refuses but her bare breasts are seen until she gets dressed in the back seat.
  • Howard does a radio bit where he acts like he’s gargling with his "boyfriend’s semen." He gargles water and the others then state that "he swallowed" (ie. the semen).
  • To say dirty words on the air and get away with it, Howard and the others play a "fill in the blank game." He says that the first word is "blank willow." The others of course say "p*ssy" several times and the next word is "blank a doodle do" which causes the others to say "c*ck" repeatedly and in various forms.
  • A woman on Howard’s radio show simulates oral sex with a "twelve inch" sausage and then "deep throats" it while a shocked group of tour visitors look on.
  • Full female frontal and rear nudity is seen as a nude woman gives Howard a massage while on the air. While giving the woman a hug, Howard tells her, "You’re the perfect height. I could have sex with you standing up." He later says that "we’d have sex ten times a day" and that he’s "fully aroused."
  • Two bare breasted women are seen at a Central Park rally for Howard.
  • SMOKING
  • A woman smokes a cigarette for a few moments in one scene.
  • Howard's father holds an unlit pipe in his hand in one scene.
  • A station manager smokes a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Alison occasionally gets mad at Howard for his on-air behavior.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The accuracy of this movie in portraying the real Howard Stern.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Howard as a young boy watches a radio DJ throw and break many albums.
  • A low budget, student film that Howard shot shows a crucified man being "stabbed" by someone with a knife. None of it remotely looks real.
  • A woman dressed in a leather S&M outfit puts out her cigarette on the tongue of a man who's tied up.
  • The mentally ill are somewhat poked fun at during a picnic scene. Alison works with such patients and Howard tries to play frisbee with one man, but the patient can't catch the disc and is repeatedly hit in the face with it.
  • Howard makes a story during a radio skit. In it, he claims to have killed eleven people in Vietnam. He says that he actually killed more as he threw a hand grenade into a school house and killed many children. Since kids are smaller than adults, however, he was only credited for the eleven kills. He then states that "...killing a kid should be just as good as killing an adult."
  • Howard prays to Jesus Christ and says, "Please send a hit man to kill ‘pig vomit' (Kenny the NBC manager)."
  • Howard and Kenny struggle over a phone that ends with the phone whacking Kenny in the face. As he tries to retaliate, Kenny accidentally hits his boss with an awards statue.



  • Reviewed March 4, 1997

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