Permanent Midnight


Permanent Midnight Review

Well, there's nothing like missing a fad by a few years to show how really behind the curve you are. Permanent Midnight, the new film about the rise and fall... well, mostly the fall... of TV writer Jerry Stahl should prove to be the final nail in the short-lived, and now painful-to-watch, genre: the drug movie.

Perhaps best known as the chief influence behind the TV show ALF, Midnightis a simplistic retelling of Stahl's tell-all autobiography. Ben Stiller, the only remotely passable part of this film, plays Stahl with gusto, but twenty minutes of Stiller going berserk as a strung-out junkie are more than enough.

Sadly, that's all this movie is: a whopping 85 minutes of Stiller on heroin. There's precious little about his life before or after his addiction. It's just a few pages out of the life of a junkie. And I couldn't have cared less. Plot development? Ha! First-time director Veloz obviously feels it's beneath him.

Maybe the worst part of Midnightis that it's told completely in flashback, as Stahl reminisces to some blonde girl who picks him up at a fast food joint. Played by Maria Bello, this outta-nowhere character is so devoid of, well, of anything that my cat could have played her with the same conviction. Bello had best start rethinking that ER departure, pronto.

I won't waste any more time droning about how bad Permanent Midnight is. But I will say one thing: at least it explains a lot about ALF.

Permanent Midnight

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd April 1999

Distributed by: Artisan

Production compaines: JD Productions

Reviews 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 21

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: as Jerry Stahl, as Sandra, as Kitty, as Nicky, as Phoenix Punk, as Brad / Tim from Mr. Chompers, Lourdes Benedicto as Vola, as Craig Ziffer, Chauncey Leopardi as Jerry at 16, Mary Thompson as Grandma White, as Allen from Mr. Chompers, as Dita, as Miguel, as Jana Farmer, as Dagmar