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Like the book it is named after and based on, Permanent Midnight is a chronicle of downfall. Jerry Stahl, the story goes, showed promise when doing shifts as a porn writer for Hustler and Penthouse, and his promise landed him in the exact center of television's hottest shows of the 1980s. Alas, Stahl also brought with him a gargantuan appetite for drugs, most damagingly heroin. The film begins with Stahl, played by Ben Stiller, working in a fast-food chain on his way back to society from the drug-addled skids and recovery. He's lured away from work, where in a hotel room with Maria Bello (as Kitty) he begins detailing his fall from TV's top (where he wrote for shows like Alf and Moonlighting, among others). Director David Veloz does great work in leading viewers through the episodes in addiction and excess, making the action seem naturally odd. There are priceless shots of Stahl and his coke-smoking buddy on an upper floor of a high-rise smoking and leaping into the windows--which don't break, of course. Stiller does a classy job of staying monochromatically zoomed in on scoring and shooting dope. He's sweaty and freaked out at the right times and grimy and desperate, too. The movie's a sad one, with Stahl's journey taking him through an arranged marriage (which benefited him enormously) to the couple's having a baby to getting busted on a rare occasion alone with the infant. It's a visceral script, replete with lots of intravenous drug use and Stahl/Stiller creating a recurring motif out of shooting the bloody drawback from the syringe onto the ceiling, making a mad little scribble. --Andrew Bartlett
Way too dark This is a side of Ben Stiller than I really did not want to see.Published 24 days ago by GMYDOC
Ben Stiller can act. Hmmm... I like his drama better than his comedy.Published 2 months ago by Monic Michieli
I am surprised at the number of people who rated this movie 5 stars. In my opinion, Ben Stiller is completely miscast in this role and I didn't find his portrayal of Jerry Stahl... Read morePublished 4 months ago by John WAZ
We didn't finish the movie, it was that bad. Poor character development. Terrible gratuitous language. Plot was taking way too long to develop. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mimi
started off pretty interesting but then became more and more boring overtime.
Wouldn't recommend watching.
Awesome story of an afflicted addict. Told with humor and compassion.Published 5 months ago by Lois Lee