What it’s about: Mark Wahlberg stars in P.T. Anderson’s epic (in my mind) about the porn industry in the late 1970s and one young man’s crazy life in the biz.

Who’s in it: Marky Mark, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, William H. Macy, Burt Reynolds and Philip Seymour Hoffman

When it came out: 1997

Why you need to watch it (immediately!):

  • First of all, this movie is my disco dream come true. The story and the aesthetic is all about extravagance, disco, drugs, fashion, freedom, sparkle, feathered hair and porn.
  • Marky Mark does a pretty great job! This is one of his first starring roles, the beginning of the “big deal” movies that got him attention for his acting and not just his tighty-whiteys.
  • The music! This soundtrack reads like my iTunes, featuring a whole bunch of disco hits with other gems stuck in here and there. Ohio Players, Hot Chocolate, The Commodores, Marvin Gaye and ELO–just to name a few.
  • Though the story seems light-hearted at first, it has a significant sad undertone that exposes the harsh side of the disco era and the free-and-easy porn industry when it was thriving. It seems inevitable that the shortest, most insane party time period would have such ugly consequences.
  • This movie isn’t really about porn. This movie is all about what it’s really like to be a big fish in a little pond and getting to have your cake and eat it too. It’s about what happens when you get exactly what you want and the shallowness of a certain kind of success.

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