The People Vs. Larry Flynt

It’s somehow characteristic of director Milos Forman that his 1979 version of the prohippie musical Hair bordered on being a conservative attack on the counterculture, whereas, in these conservative times, his tragicomic all-American saga about the life and times of Hustler publisher Larry Flynt (1996) borders on being a piece of hippie irreverence. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski’s script may in spots be as much of a skim job as their one for Ed Wood, but it’s almost as sweet and as likable, and if the movie can’t ever practice what it and its hillbilly hero preachthe only beaver shot in the movie involves a corpseits heart is certainly in the right place. Woody Harrelson plays Flynt with energy, and Courtney Love does at least as well as his wife; others in the capable cast include Edward Norton, James Cromwell, Crispin Glover, and James Carville. 127 min. (JR)

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