THE BOOST, for the crack 'n' smack generation. This cautionary tale, complete with the swank cars, cool clothes and depraved babes that inevitably accompany degradation Hollywood style, is based on former sitcom scribe Jerry Stahl's lurid tell-all memoir of his descent into heroin addiction. Self-described "dark guy" Jerry (the ubiquitous Ben Stiller) runs to La-La-Land after his mother's suicide, and through the sort of sheer coincidence that fiction dare not concoct, winds up in a marriage of convenience to stunning Brit Sandra (Elizabeth Hurley), who needs a green card and uses her TV connections to land Jerry a job writing for wise-cracking alien show Mr. Chompers (read: ALF). Jerry wows the hell out of the TV types with drug-fueled flights of fancy, like his faux-intellectual argument that Mr. Chompers is a modern-day
Tom Joad figure, and he's soon pulling down five grand a week. Soon he's fixing with the stars, copping in the barrio and screwing up his life but good. Stiller, leaner and meaner than usual, almost succeeds in making you sympathize, considering that Jerry is a supremely self-centered schmuck who never misses an opportunity to crack wise: When asked about the worst thing drugs ever made him do, he quips that they made him plug his book on the Maury Povich show. Stiller has the mordant attitude to make a line like that funny, and Stahl has a keen eye for L.A. hypocrisy large and small that
he doesn't hesitate to turn on himself: He's the kind of tinseltown junkie who won't eat supermarket tomatoes because they're full of poison and offers to take one dealer's fatherless son to a ball game because the kid needs a male role model. But under the witty surface, the moral seems to be "The devil made me do it." Even by sitcom standards, that's old.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1998
- Rating: R
- Review: THE BOOST, for the crack 'n' smack generation. This cautionary tale, complete with the swank cars, cool clothes and depraved babes that inevitably accompany degradation Hollywood style, is based on former sitcom scribe Jerry Stahl's lurid tell-all memoir o… (more)