The People vs. Larry Flynt
Not yet rated
Time Out saysWhen Larry Flynt (Woody Harrelson), a Cincinnati strip-club proprietor, decides to improve business by putting out an explicitly illustrated newsletter, even his shrewd business sense can't predict that, as publisher of Hustler magazine, he'll end up a millionaire. Nor does he foresee the trials and tribulations his notoriety will bring in the shape of prosecutions for obscenity, contempt of court and libel. Fortunately, Flynt has the support of both his wife Althea (Love) and his lawyer Alan Isaacman (Norton) whose devotion to civil liberties outweighs his distaste for his client's life style. Since Flynt's real-life saga is colourful enough to ensure compelling drama, Forman's film is never less than fun: the irrepressible pornographer's courtroom antics make lively comedy. The performances, too, are winning: Love, gradually succumbing to drug-addiction and AIDS, is all too credible; Harrelson engagingly roguish; and Norton steals the show. But Forman and scriptwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are so keen to render Flynt a populist hero that they skate over the issues: the exploitative misogyny of Flynt's output is never examined, the prurient hypocrisy and intolerance of his persecutors seriously overplayed, plus Larry and Althea's odd romance lacks bittersweet conviction.