When I first went to see Boogie Nights I expected something exploitive and titillating. I think half of the people in the cinema did. I’d heard the back end of a review by Mark Kermode where he said it was a masterpiece.
So, I went into the cinema expecting a softcore masterpiece. Porn for the mainstream (you can see how wrong headed I’d got the whole thing). So I sat and watched it, and what I got was some sort of Robert Altman type film. I didn’t get it. And I didn’t like it.
Then weeks passed and I kept thinking about the film. It’s not a film about a porn star with a big penis. It’s a film about life (I finally realised).
When the film came out on DVD I bought it and eagerly watched it again. Kermode was right. This is one of the best films of the time. It IS a masterpiece. A film about show business and life. Rich, beautiful and brilliantly written. The performances are also outstanding.
The film goes to dark places, but retains its humour and is finally uplifting, jubilant and full of life.
This is the first masterpiece made by this director, but he would go onto make many more…
Matthew Cooper has written for most of the UK soaps, including writing episodes of Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. Matthew was winner of the Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge, the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal TV Society nominated as a television writer. He’s been a script consultant and script writer for hire for over 20 years. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on email@example.com