The People vs. Larry Flynt Without a doubt, the highlight of The People vs. Larry Flynt: Special Edition is listening to Milos Forman, in a retrospective doc, mimic Hustler publisher… The People vs. Larry Flynt Without a doubt, the highlight of The People vs. Larry Flynt: Special Edition is listening to Milos Forman, in a retrospective doc, mimic Hustler publisher…
Movie on DVD Review

The People vs. Larry Flynt: Special Edition (2003)

Courtney Love, Woody Harrelson, ... | DO THE HUSTLER Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love are in, like, ''Flynt''
Image credit: The People Vs. Larry Flint: Sidney Baldwin
DO THE HUSTLER Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love are in, like, ''Flynt''
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: May 06, 2003; DVD Release Date: May 06, 2003; Movie Rated: R; Genre: Drama; With: Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love

Without a doubt, the highlight of The People vs. Larry Flynt: Special Edition is listening to Milos Forman, in a retrospective doc, mimic Hustler publisher Larry Flynt's smeared Kentucky drawl: The Czech-born director sounds like a backwoods Speak & Spell. It's when he's not doing a paralyzed-pornographer impression that Forman gets into trouble. He -- like writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski -- insists that the smut factory at the center of the controversial biopic was ''a pretext'' for discussing much bigger issues, i.e., freedom of expression. Well, dandy. But by setting aside the content of Flynt's media empire, the filmmakers allow viewers not only to excuse but actually forget what Flynt does for a living -- thus sanding off the edges of any ''debate.'' Not one feminist voice pipes up -- producers managed to snag an interview with Flynt archrival Jerry Falwell, but couldn't secure Gloria Steinem's participation. The feminist declined an interview -- and the New York Times op-ed piece she wrote excoriating the film is not reprinted alongside Frank Rich's paean. It's her loss, and ours: Maybe she could have put the ''vs.'' back into a fight that still feels rigged.

Originally posted May 06, 2003 Published in issue #709 May 09, 2003 Order article reprints
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