Permanent Midnight

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Jerry Stahl (Ben Stiller) begins writing his story the day he moves to Los Angeles to escape the drug element in New York. He already has friends in LA, and one of them sets him up with Sandra (Elizabeth Hurley). Sandra happens to be English and in need of a green card, so Jerry marries her. She, in turn, gets him a job writing on the television show she works for, and because of his talent, he becomes a hot commodity as a writer in Hollywood. All along, though, he continues to do drugs, which eventually spin his life out of control. PERMANENT MIDNIGHT is based on a true story, and Ben Stiller demonstrates that he is much more than just a comedian turning in a great performance. This film may only appeal to a narrow audience of younger adults who will relate to Jerry's life and experience.

This film does not glamorize drug use. Drugs are pictured as being extremely harmful to one's life. The film graphically portrays the depths to which someone will sink when addicted to drugs. Although the film does carry this positive message, it becomes quite difficult to watch the constant repetition of syringes, pipes, and pills. Also, no attention is given to why Jerry started or continued his drug use. It seemed to be something he just did, for no reason at all. The film also portrays several people having sex quite casually without any repercussions. Another issue one will find problematic is the large amount of obscene and crude language. It seems that at every turn the characters are using the f-word once again. The 54 f and s words, 5 regular profanities, along with the sex and the graphic drug use will keep discerning viewers away.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Artisan Entertainment, 2700 Colorado Ave., 2nd floor, Santa Monica, CA 90404

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (14) times - Mild 1, Moderate 13

Obscene Language: Many (57) times - f-word 35, s-word 19, other 3

Profanity: Several (6) times - Regular 5 (GD 2, J 2, JC 2); Exclamatory 1 (My God)

Violence: Few times - Moderate (man pushed out of house, man dragged along side of car, blood all over living room)

Sex: Few times (shown 3 times between unmarried couples, once with breast nudity)

Nudity: Once (breast nudity

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times - (reference to male genitals, couples in bed before or after sex, reference to unconventional sex)

Drugs: Many times (smoking, alcohol, graphic depiction of heroin, crack, and other drugs being used)

Other: 4 derogatory ethnic comments, pre-marital sex condoned

Running Time: 85 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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