A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Breaking the rules for the sake of breaking rules is OK. Using foul language on the radio will generate large listening audiences and in turn generate large revenues for media companies.
Positive Role Models
Stern passive-aggressively takes advantage of the fact that while he may promise his bosses to behave on the air, once he's in front of the microphone, he can and will say and do anything he wants. He doesn't hesitate to humiliate his bosses and bad-mouth the company that pays his salary. He makes a virtue of disrespect and pretends he's ignorant of what it is he does that annoys others. Stern demonstrates loyalty to the on-air backup staff he works with and gets them jobs every time he moves to a new station.
Violence & Scariness
Stern's wife miscarries, and he makes her laugh about it when they are alone by suggesting they give a name to the clump of aborted cells, then he mocks the tragedy publicly on his radio show, which enrages her. Stern mocks and tortures his direct supervisor.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Stern ogles a woman as she walks through an airport, imagining her wearing only her bra, and imagining her breasts growing larger, all of which is shown. A woman takes off her clothes, gets into a bubble bath, invites Stern to join her. Her breasts, buttocks are seen. Stern says he can't because he's married but gets in in his underpants. When she touches his private parts, he gets out. Another bare-chested man is also in the tub. Women bare their breasts at an outdoor concert. A guest on the radio show takes off her clothes, gets on the floor with Stern, gives him a massage. Another is shown straddling her stereo speaker, brought to orgasm by the vibrations caused by Stern's voice. Stern speaks frequently about his small penis. A room full of lesbians in various degrees of undress kiss and fondle each other. Stern hopes one day he will persuade his wife to participate in lesbian sex. Stern reports that he masturbated several times a day. Stern advises that men wear tight pants and stuff their crotches to make their penises appear larger in order to "score with babes." A reference is made to gargling with semen. A woman is shown performing oral sex on a long kielbasa.
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"C--ksucker," "c--t," "p---y," "f--k," "s--t," "motherf----r," "ass," "t-ts," the "N" word, "penis," "boobs," "butt," "horny," "excretion," "urination," and "ejaculation."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking dope is mentioned, but Stern says it makes him paranoid.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Private Parts is a 1997 biopic based on radio personality Howard Stern's 1993 book of the same name. He plays himself in this chronicle of his unlikely rise from a nerdy, awkward, sex-obsessed guy with an uninspired voice, a potty mouth, and a fascination with female nudity to number one DJ in New York City and media force. Despite a father who repeatedly told him to shut up, he has the loudest and last words (many of them profane) here on subjects including beating down difficult bosses and glorifying his habit of mentally undressing the attractive women he meets. Bare breasts and buttocks (his included) appear throughout the film. In one scene an imagined lesbian orgy full of bare-breasted women kiss and touch each other. Sex is referred to frequently. A woman is shown performing oral sex on a long kielbasa. Another is shown straddling her stereo speaker, brought to orgasm from the vibrations caused by Stern's voice. The humor is irreverent and sometimes cruel. Language includes the seven words banned on radio and TV -- "motherf----r," "c--t," "c--ksucker," "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "ass" -- and others. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The charm and the cringeworthiness of this movie derive from the same quirk: that Stern is basically a sex-obsessed 14-year-old boy who just wants a little peek under the girl's bra. This adolescent view of life is reinforced as he seems proud of his knack for exposing the contradictions in grown-up life and the hypocrisy of family-oriented institutions (like media companies, where his bosses swear like the proverbial drunken sailors but ban bad language on the air), but sometimes his mockery goes too far, or causes others pain.
The trouble is that even older teens might be fooled into believing that Stern's triumphs over his controlling bosses somehow provide proof that being vulgar is the same as fighting for freedom. Stern touts his accomplishments and downplays the pain he's caused. He loves his wife but nevertheless, wearing only his underwear, climbs into a bathtub with a naked actress just because she asked him to. He sneaks the word "c--k" onto a show by referring to a rooster's wake-up crow, and he's as pleased as he could be with that bit of cleverness. Ask teens what they think about Stern in Private Parts. Is he a renegade and an innovator? Or has he degraded public discourse, on the air and online?
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.