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.
Run time: 88 mins
In Theaters: Friday 23rd April 1999
Distributed by: Artisan
Production compaines: JD Productions
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 21
IMDB: 6.3 / 10
Director: David Veloz
Screenwriter: David Veloz
Starring: Ben Stiller as Jerry Stahl, Elizabeth Hurley as Sandra, Maria Bello as Kitty, Owen Wilson as Nicky, Jay Paulson as Phoenix Punk, Spencer Garrett as Brad / Tim from Mr. Chompers, Lourdes Benedicto as Vola, Fred Willard as Craig Ziffer, Chauncey Leopardi as Jerry at 16, Mary Thompson as Grandma White, Charles Fleischer as Allen from Mr. Chompers, Liz Torres as Dita, Douglas Spain as Miguel, Janeane Garofalo as Jana Farmer, Connie Nielsen as Dagmar