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movie reviewers have an obligation to see the good , the bad , and the despicable .
i originally wrote this review for my college newspaper back in '95 , but i wanted to re-write it because not all retro reviews should be about the classics .
we need to be warned about some truly awful films , too .
this picture was so bad , it inspired the description for my 1/10 rating ( see ratings chart below ) .
the only thing saving it from a 0/10 rating is that being able to rent a movie like this is slightly less embarassing than renting a porno .
so , it does indeed have some plusses . . .
in fairness , elizabeth berkley is certainly worth seeing in the buff .
and her ability to whine and irritate us , even while nude , was appropriate in her role as selfish temptress nomi malone .
this character is not smart , not interesting , and ( deliberately ? )
far too annoying far too often .
like in 1998s " bulworth " , when the movie was over i didn't care one little iota about the main character .
at least warren beatty tried to make a statement with his dreary and overrated film , though .
" showgirls " is too stupid to make a statement .
some people claim that the story is based on the legendary " all about eve " of all things !
if exploitation expert joe eszterhas was half the screenwriter that joseph l . mankiewicz was , he'd be . . . well ,
he'd be a good screenwriter .
instead , this project may have sunk his career .
he wrote the ( ha ha ! )
script and the usually reliable paul verhoeven directed .
the same team who created a good sex-film in 1992 ( " basic instinct " ) struck out here with their occasional violence , gratuitous x-rated sex scenes , and numerous ( and quite unnecessary ) lesbian overtones .
the predictable storyline revolves around nomi streaking into las vegas to make it big as a dancer .
after the supposed street-smart young " lady " gets conned out of her suitcase by a slack-jawed yokel in the opening sequence , she befriends a tailor of the glamorous stage production at the " stardust hotel " .
nomi doesn't take advantage of this contact to break into the big-time of dirty dancing right away .
first , she becomes a lap dancer at a scummy strip club .
she sells her hot little wares at " the cheetah " for a short time , turning on the fictitious customers and the actual theatre audience .
hey , i never said she wasn't a hot number . . .
maybe it's that , her body , which gets her into the big-time when the star of the " stardust hotel " , crystal connors ( gina gershon ) stops into the strip club ( it certainly isn't her brains or pleasant disposition ! ) .
crystal requests a private lap dance for her boyfriend ( kyle maclachlan ) .
he also happens to be the pleasure-seeking worm who runs the big show .
crystal gets nomi onto the " stardust " team and , after an interminable amount of time , nomi " earns " the role of crystal's understudy .
the slut then deliberately injures and hospitalizes crystal .
it was almost laughable that nomi had the guts to claim that she's " not a whore " .
that's a phrase we hear a few different times and it's completely ludicrous .
of course she is !
she sells her soul to make it big , but in the end we're supposed to believe that she's a better person than that .
we're supposed to root for her .
no way !
she's a tramp and a back-stabber who deserved nothing--least of all vindication in the . . . ahem . . . climax .
she is not a good person and they take over two hours to explain that the audience should think that she is .
the sub-plot with a male dancer ( glenn plummer ) who claims to see talent in nomi is just a gratuitous opportunity to let her dance naked a little bit more .
it sure ain't character development !
plummer also appeared in " speed " in '94 in a smaller , yet better role .
this sub-plot goes absolutely nowhere except maybe to deliver an unsubtle hint that fornicators should practice birth control .
kyle maclachlan must have been promised a big pay-day or his standards have dipped since appearing in " blue velvet " .
that picture was weird , but some critics claim it's one of the best movies of the '80s .
now ol' kyle can say that he acted in one of the worst of the '90s , too .
his sleazy character is important to " showgirls " , but we don't learn anything about him .
he uses people to get what he wants , but that only means that he fits in well with the other characters in this movie .
is he a villain ?
who cares !
ultimately , this movie is as tiresome as it is explicit .
everyone must know by now about the soft-core acts of copulation , especially the riotous romp between berkley and maclachlan in his pool .
what few reviewers take issue with is how mean-spirited this movie is .
everyone's either having sex , exacting revenge , or wishing they were having sex or exacting revenge .
it's just too hard to take ( especially for over two hours ) .
if we must be exposed to the evils of the vegas world , why couldn't verhoeven have also made a point of highlighting the whispers , grunts , and other sounds during the dance numbers ?
it's hard to care about these people if we can't even appreciate what they're capable of doing on-stage .
berkley may have a future in hollywood because she can dance and she has a great body .
after all , the world of porn is still an active , dishonourable profession .
perhaps berkley could join their ranks and leave the real acting to pauly shore and cindy crawford .
oops , they're bad actors , too .
well , at least , they're not selfish and contemptable like good ol' slutty nomi malone .
useless trivia--ironically , elizabeth berkley played virtuous and " holier than thou " jessie on the teeny-bopper tv show , " saved by the bell " , before breaking onto the big screen .