The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Brett Harrelson Movie Review

The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love in The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)

Harrelson's a Hustler

With his younger brother Jimmy (Brett Harrelson) by his side Larry Flynt (Woody Harrelson) always had an entrepreneurial streak, even from a young age when they would walk the wooded hills selling moonshine. So it is little surprise when Larry grew up his entrepreneurial side led him to venture into the more risque side of life with his adult clubs and eventually his adult magazine Hustler. But his magazine not only saw him the target of those who tried to shut down his business for indecency it saw him the victim of a sniper's bullet. But with each set back, prison sentence and court appearance Larry stood up for the freedom of speech with the support of his wife Athea (Courtney Love).

Having reviewed over 7000 movies and watched many more it is little surprise that there are many of those I have only watched once but some of those I have longed to watch again and "The People vs. Larry Flynt" was one of them. The thing is that I didn't remember "The People vs. Larry Flynt" as being a particularly great movie and when I fist saw it I had no idea who Larry Flynt was, I know little more about him than I do now but I remembered being entertained for its entire 129 minutes and it was simply that which made me want to watch it again. The good news is that watching "The People vs. Larry Flynt" more than a decade and a half later and it is still as entertaining as ever.

Now I don't know how accurate "The People vs. Larry Flynt" is, to me there is some clearly used poetic licence in some places to keep the story moving or make an impact but I don't know how one sided it is. What I will say is that it is an easy to follow movie because on one hand we have Larry's life with the love of his life Athea, a stunning performance from Courtney Love, and then we see Larry's continual battle to publish Hustler whilst the authorities seem to target him. As such we see on numerous occasions Flynt ending up in court and due to his character causing more trouble for himself by aggravating judges with saying what he thinks. But we also see how much he loved Athea and the sad road which their relationship took following the attempt on his life and ending up paralysed. The thing is that whilst simple "The People vs. Larry Flynt" is incredibly easy to follow.

"The People vs. Larry Flynt" also features entertaining performances with Woody Harrelson embracing every aspect of the role from the loathsome side of Flynt to the man who fell in love and had what at least on film seemed quite a unique relationship. There is also Courtney Love whose performance as Athea makes the movie because Athea has the biggest curve of a storyline, going from a young stripper to a woman who ended up a drug addict and reportedly in the advanced stages of AIDS. But the whole movie has good performances with Edward Norton, James Cromwell and Crispin Glover all contributing to the movie's effectiveness.

What this all boils down to is that "The People vs. Larry Flynt" is still an entertaining movie thanks to an entertaining and easy to follow storyline combined with good performances from all those involved.