Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) is a 17-year-old busboy at a 1970s nightclub. Spotted by porn filmmaker Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) for his good looks and the generous bulge in his pants, Eddie is lured into the world of making 'adult’ films. He meets Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), Jack's part-time lover and full time porn queen, along with others in the industry such as actor Buck Swope (Don Cheadle), crew member Little Bill (William Macy), the films' investor known as 'The Colonel' (Robert Ridgely) and a woman constantly on roller skates known only as Rollergirl (Heather Graham). With his natural physical "gift," Eddie becomes a big star in the adult film industry and changes his name to Dirk Diggler.
 

4
The casting is immaculate and the overall style is movie-making at its finest.

Boogie Nights is about the porn film industry and it's about family. Opening in the late 1970's when porn was shot on film and screened in cinemas we meet Jack Horner - Burt Reynolds - one of the leading exponents of the art. Jack's always on the lookout for new talent and busboy Eddie - Mark Wahlberg looks as if he's got it. Jack teams Eddie - soon to choose the name Dirk Diggler as his own - with leading lady Amber - Julianne Moore - who apart from enjoying the sex takes a maternal interest in the boy and Rollergirl - Heather Graham. The cast and crew are all part of Jack's family - they work together, they play together.

This typical showbiz story about the naive, vulnerable Eddie who's ripe for a fall, is the second film from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson - and you would regard him as a precocious talent. Long tracking shots, reminiscent of Goodfellas, exuberant editing, stunning performances and a strikingly original and non-moralistic approach to his mildly sensational subject make Boogie Nights an exciting cinema experience. Burt Reynolds has never been better as the laid-back, slightly removed filmmaker who dreams of making a movie where the patrons will stay on after they got what they came for... Mark Wahlberg is so impressive as Dirk as is John C. Reilly as Dirk's co-star. Alfred Molina has a cameo in a stunning sequence towards the end of the film. By the time the film ends it's the mid-80's - the porn industry has undergone a revolution and so has Dirk Diggler.

Watch Boogie Nights

SBS Australia, Saturday 11 November 9.25pm 
SBS On Demand, anytime 

Mark Wahlberg hopes God is a cinephile, so he can be forgiven for 'Boogie Nights'