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At Theaters: 9/25/1998 On Video: 2/23/1999
Rated: R Length: 1 hr. 27 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 099809
Studio: Fine Line Features
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Storyline Heading

Pecker, so named for his childhood habit of "pecking" at his food, is a goofy 18-year-old who works in a Baltimore sandwich shop and takes photos of his loving but peculiar family and friends on the side. He stumbles into fame when his work is "discovered" by a savvy New York art dealer,

Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Comedy - Only devotees of the uniquely trashy cinema of John Waters will love this comedy; more liberal viewers could also enjoy. Older audiences, those easily offended, and children should be kept away.
Cast and Crew Heading
Edward Furlong (Before and After)
Christina Ricci (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Wri/Dir: John Waters (Serial Mom)
Production Notes Heading
About The Production
Art Imitating Life
The Cast
The Rehearsals
The Inspiration
Content Heading
PROFANITY: Occasional use of strong profanity.
SEX/NUDITY: Closeups of pubic hair; some sexual situations without nudity, including masturbation.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some alcohol at parties and bars.
COMEDY: Constant comic situations, images, and dialogue.

Pictures © Fine Line Features ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
Above Average
As low as the modern masters of lowbrow comedy, There's Something About Mary's Farrelly Brothers, go, no one can tap into the uniquely warped wavelength of writer-director John Waters. His latest, Pecker, features more of his singular brand of cinematic dementia, but even devotees may be disappointed by how tame the entire affair is, even if it does have some choice bits of bad taste.

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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 57 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
Very High
20-29Yg Adults (M)
20-29Yg Adults (F)
30+Adults (M)
Fairly High
30+Adults (F)
Fairly High
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

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Set amidst the colorful landscape of the director's beloved home town, Pecker tells the story of a goofy 18-year-old who works in a Baltimore sandwich shop and takes photos of his loving but peculiar family and friends on the side. Pecker (Edward Furlong), so named for his childhood habit of "pecking" at his food, stumbles into fame when his work is "discovered" by a savvy New York art dealer, Rorey Wheeler (Lili Taylor). Pecker's pictures - sometimes grainy, sometimes out of focus - are far from professional, but they somehow strike a cord with New York art collectors.

Unfortunately, instant over-exposure has its downside. Rorey's efforts to turn Pecker into an art sensation threaten to ruin the low-key lifestyle that was his inspiration. The unassuming teenager finds that his best friend Mart (Brendan Sexton III) can't even artfully shoplift anymore now that Pecker's photographs have increased his profile. Poor Shelley (Christina Ricci), Pecker's obsessive girlfriend who runs a laundromat, seems especially distressed when the press dub her a "stain goddess" and mistakes her good-natured "pin-up" poses for pornographic

When his family is dubbed "culturally challenged" by an overzealous critic, Pecker really begins to feel the uncomfortable glare of stardom. And he's not the only one - Pecker's mom (Mary Kay Place) is no longer free to dispense fashion tips to the homeless clientele at her thrift shop and his grandmother, Memama (Jean Schertler), the pit beef queen of Baltimore, is held up to public ridicule when her peculiar religious experience with a talking statue of Mary is exposed on the cover of a national art magazine.

As if that is not bad enough, Tina (Martha Plimpton), Pecker's gay-friendly older sister, is fired from her job hiring go-go boys to dance at the Fudge Palace because Pecker's edgy photographs chronicle the secret sex practices of the clubs patrons. Even Little Chrissy, his six year old sister, is feeling the pressure of celebrity when her eating disorder is exposed to the world bringing unwanted attention from nosy child welfare agencies.

In desperation, Pecker finds that he must choose between his new found fame and protecting his life and family in Baltimore. Can Pecker resist becoming a jerk? Will he have an affair with Rorey, his rich and exciting art dealer, or will he stick with his girlfriend, Shelley, who loves him for who he really is? Will he sell out or take back his career on his own terms? Can Pecker ever be truly "artless" once again?

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