A Dirty Shame
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America's leading titan of bad taste, John Waters, returns to X-rated territory (well, actually NC-17-rated territory, but you get the idea) for this wildly over-the-top comedy. Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman) is a wife and mother living in Baltimore who, along with her husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) and mother Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd), operates a local convenience store. One day, Sylvia receives a sharp blow to the head, which leaves her with a concussion. However, the concussion comes with an unexpected side effect -- Sylvia has suddenly become a sex addict, and is soon attended to by… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The story is trite and uninteresting. And the humor is only occasionally funny, and that's largely because it's almost impossible not to be impressed by Tracey Ullman's manic energy."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"[Waters] hasn't let slick technique take over as has Hollywood, and he retains his radical sensibility and his willingness to go where others haven't."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Waters has made a resolutely unsexy sex comedy, but he hasn't left out the comedy."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"Exploring the wide divide between prudes and the world of sexual excess, there's enough bad taste on display to shock, amuse and entertain. Sizzles when hot, fizzles when not"
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"More a return to roots than a return to form, this messy carnal-concussion comedy celebrates the libido and every form of sexual practice"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Makes sex seem the least exciting thing in the world. And that's a dirty shame, indeed."
‑ Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Ray-Ray says it best: 'It's like Noah's Ark around here; there's one of every perversion. Alas, it's all been done.'"
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"On the one hand it depicts what the world might be like if women had the same constancy of sexual desire that men have, but on the other hand, it has the intelligence level of a teenage boy's dirty joke."
‑ Douglas Pratt, Movie City News
"A Dirty Shame is a fabulously funny exploration of fetishism, a look at the ever-more-insane ways people find to 'get off'."
‑ Bill Gibron, DVD Verdict
"A Dirty Shame is not a good movie, but it has a good message, and for that, it's well worth seeing."
‑ David Cornelius, eFilmCritic.com
"... you can have an open mind and hate this movie because I good well hated this movie."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Finds Waters basking in the wildness of such fun, but the film is also a retreat from his more sophisticated causticity of late. On one hand, it's a victory; on the other, it disappoints."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"No shame here."
‑ Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine)
"Wow. The challenges of reviewing an NC-17 movie for a family newspaper are, um, challenging."
‑ Linda Cook, KWQC-TV (Iowa)
"Outrageous, filthy and often hysterically funny, this is John Waters' best film since Serial Mom."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
More reviews for A Dirty Shame on Rotten Tomatoes