Comedy about a sandwich shop employee who becomes the darling of the art world.
sexuality, graphic nudity, language and brief drug use
Starring Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci, Martha Plimpton... View more >
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|by Jason Whyte ||Jan 25, 2000|
Pecker (Edward Furlong) is too happy. He lives in Baltimore, going all over the place photographing everything that appeals to him. He takes pictures of girls on the bus, monuments, his family, even the food at the sandwich shop he works at. Pecker is just a happy guy who lives with his camera. The camera is his eye. He has a girlfriend (Christina Ricci) who is obsessed with the Laundromat she works at, a best friend (Bredan Sexton III), and a somewhat strange family. The mom (Mary Kay Place) runs a dirt cheap thrift shop, the dad (Mark Joy) owns a dying bar establishment, the kid sister (Lauren Huilsey) is obsessed with sugar, the grandmother (Jean Schertler) who has a pit beef stand and Virgin Mary statue, and the older sister (Martha Plimpton) runs a male strip joint.
Yet the film is directed by John Waters, the man who is best known for bathing in bad taste. Last year I finally got to watch his cult classic “Pink Flamingos”, which still reigns as the sickest movie of the 20th century. Anything disgusting that would happen, happened in that 1972 underground film. Now, Waters has certainly toned it down, so much so that you would never guess this film is made by John Waters unless you read the credits.
Back to the story: Pecker puts up an exhibit for all of his pictures in his restaurant, and a famous art dealer (Lily Taylor) happens to see it, and puts many of Pecker’s pictures up in a New York art gallery. That’s when Pecker’s life takes off for him, but it changes his relationship to everyone in his home town. That’s when Pecker’s life turns into turmoil.
“Pecker” would be a better movie if it was actually funny. There are some good laughs yet a lot of jokes that don’t work at all. The photographs Pecker takes are quite funny, but the goings on of the neighborhood don’t work at all (Pecker having sex with his girlfriend in a voting booth, the fake Virgin Mary, etc.), nor do much of the characters. Edward Furlong’s performance is the best thing that can be said about the entire 86 minute ordeal. His performance, like the rest of the movie, could be a lot better.
Picture: 4 A satisfying picture with a nice film look to it. Colors and blacks are surprisingly good.
Sound: 4 A surprising Dolby Digital soundtrack, with a good surround presence and an easy to hear front channel and well defined front soundstage. Comedies should sound like this.
Photography: 2.5 The film is matted to 1.85:1 for an ok composition. The shots are average for this movie. Normal normal normal.
Length: 86 minutes.