In 1977, Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg)is a high school dropout who lives with his parents (Joanna Gleason, Lawrence Hudd) in Torrance, California. He works at a Los Angeles nightclub as a bus boy where he is discovered by porn director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds), who auditions him by watching him having sex with Rollergirl (Heather Graham), a porn starlet who always wears skates.
Adams runs away from home and moves in with Horner at his San Fernando Valley home. After agreeing to enter the world of pornography, he gives himself the screen name “Dirk Diggler”, and becomes a star because of his good looks, youthful charisma, and extraordinarily large penis. His success allows him to buy a new house, an extensive wardrobe, and a “competition orange” Chevrolet Corvette. Dirk and his best friend/fellow star Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly) are featured in a series of successful action-themed porn films.
Leading lady Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), who took Eddie under her wing when he joined Jack’s stable of actors, finds herself in a custody battle with her former husband. The court determines she is an unfit mother due to her involvement in the porn industry, prior criminal record, and cocaine addiction. Dirk becomes addicted to cocaine and methamphetamine; consequently, he finds it increasingly difficult to achieve an erection, and he falls into violent mood swings.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Year of Release: 1997
Character to watch: Mark Wahlberg as Dirk Diggler.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?