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PORNSTAR: THE LEGEND OF RON JEREMY
Ocean Park Pictures/Maelstrom Entertainment
Official Site
Director: Scott Gill
Producers: Kirt Eftekhar and Scott Gill

Rating: out of 5


Who would have thought a documentary about porn could make you feel warm and fuzzy all over? Surprisingly PORNSTAR: THE LEGEND OF RON JEREMY does just that. If you’re a guy reading this review, you probably need no further explanation as to who Ron Jeremy is. If you’re a woman reading this review, some additional information is probably required. Ron Jeremy is the most prolific porn star in America, easily racking up credits in hundreds of porn flicks. His enduring presence in porn has earned him cult status among fraternity boys and late night talk show hosts alike.

It seems porn documentaries are all the rage these days. Their blue subject matter is no longer taboo for independent cinema or HBO as evidenced by the smattering of recent like-minded films: SEX: THE ANNABELLE CHONG STORY, JOHNNY WAD, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOHN HOLMES or LIVE! NUDE GIRLS UNITE. Unlike the serious themes of exploitation and morality in the aforementioned films, PORNSTAR is far more light-heated and jovial.

Under the direction of Scott Gill, PORNSTAR provides a balanced picture of Jeremy, including the perks and pitfalls of his profession. And being a porn star is not as easy as one might think. Maintaining a stiffie is challenging and many wanna-be studs can’t seem to pull it off under glaring lights and a rolling camera while dozens of stagehands mill around. Jeremy doesn’t have this problem; he’s a true professional. Indeed, what makes PORNSTAR so charming is Jeremy’s sunny demeanor. He’s a downright likable guy with an unusual background for what some would consider a controversial profession, and he’s got a goofy but affable personality to boot.

But this documentary isn’t a one-sided paean to its namesake. Despite approaching his topic with a sense of humor, Gill intentionally seeks out people with bad things to say. Co-stars and industry insiders grouse that Jeremy’s chubby gut is a turn-off for some of his leading ladies. Worse still, he’s revealed to be a notorious tightwad. But for the most part, Gill’s efforts to dig dirt are facile, and even he seems to recognize this. The only time this ploy backfires comes not from Jeremy’s colleagues but from Jeremy himself. When he bitterly complains he’s grossly underpaid compared to his female co-stars, I just wanted to shout, “Hey buddy, that’s because there’s a half a million guys out there who would do this stuff for free!” In fact, the promotional tag line for this documentary says Ron Jeremy is the most unlikely porn star in America, but a better subtitle would have been “What a lucky bastard.”

In the end, the enjoyment of watching PORNSTAR rests solely on the strength of Jeremy’s character, and it’s easy to surmise he’s such a nice fellow a gal could bring him home for Sunday dinner... as long as the relatives stay snookered on highballs and don’t ask too many questions about his day job.

—Nancy Semin

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

It’s worth a full-price ticket.

It’s worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...


Mike Doughty



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