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Dan Heller's Movie Review of "Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy"


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Ron Jeremy: Porn Star
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Many a guy has fantasized about being a porn star at some point in his life, especially when he feels insecure about his protruding pot belly and hair growing where he doesn't want or need it. Yet, to be all this, and have gorgeous, blond, sex-crazed teens and twenty-somethings crave your sexual being, well, this is what makes the porn business the multi-billion dollar industry that it is today.

The irony of Ron Jeremy is that this is his life, but he doesn't want it. And, this is what makes the movie, Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy so interesting and appealing.

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Ron Jeremy: The Everyday Guy
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A documentary made by Scott Gill, Porn Star suggests, through both Jeremy himself, and the glimpses behind the scenes of the porn industry, that you can't judge a book by its cover. While the film focuses on Ron Jeremy exclusively, it gives a reasonable, albeit optimistically-slanted view of the porn industry, and how it's more a white collar business than its reputation suggests. The analogy between the actor and the industry itself may not be intentional, but it is there, nonetheless: Jeremy is a stout little man with the nickname, The Hedgehog, due to his unflatteringly large mid-section and hairy back, but his success in porn is largely due to a good business mind and a great personality. Like pornography itself, Jeremy gives the everyday guy the assurance that anyone can live a sex fantasy. Similarly, the porn industry isn't run by sleazy drug lords, but by honest and intelligent business people, consisting of both men and women, that have a product that appeals to anyone on first glance, even if most people claim to look away later.

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Despite the informative and revealing portrayal of Mr. Jeremy and the porn industry, the movie conspicuously omits anything negative or critical. It didn't help that Jeremy was unwilling to do the movie in the first place unless he was portrayed in a positive light, and that it took over two years for Gill to gain his trust. Still, the film could have branched out and given a more realistic view of the industry itself, even while staying in context with the main star.

Jeremy, like the industry, is not modest. He loves the spotlight, filling his schedule with personal appearances (many of them meaningless), and he prides himself as much on his acting as on his sexual skills, but he never gets a chance to act. Hollywood won't touch him because of the stigma of the industry from which he comes. Yet, you can't help but wonder if he's doing as much for his career as he could, despite his background. There are other actors and actresses who've gone mainstream, despite their porn background. And, like Jeremy, the industry itself doesn't seem to do much to rid its sleazy reputation.

But, why should it? And why should Jeremy, for that matter? Within the context of themselves, life is pretty good, and why bother changing something that isn't broken? Still, the irony remains: while men all over the world wish they could be Ron Jeremy, Ron Jeremy wishes he could be someone else.

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