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" showgirls " is the first big-budget , big-studio film to receive an nc-17 rating .
and its release last year came at a time when senator bob dole and other politicans chastised the entertainment industry for promoting sex and violence .
but if " showgirls " is any indication of hollywood's future , the folks in washington should focus their attack on a more dangerous threat to american values--bad moviemaking .
" showgirls " is a relentlessly exploitive look at the las vegas strip scene , and the film turns out to be just as trashy as its subject matter .
director paul verhoeven and writer joe eszterhas , who collaborated on another shock-value project , 1992's " basic instinct , " follow the plight of a young woman ( teen tv star elizabeth berkley ) determined to make a name for herself as a topless dancer .
it's a hackneyed premise to begin with , so not surprisingly , all of the stock characters are trucked out .
there's the demanding producer .
the loyal friend .
the bitchy competitor .
lest i forget the scummy club owner .
of course , any attempt at character development or a coherent storyline is just window dressing for the film's main attraction--an endless parade of full-frontal nudity .
unfortunately , " showgirls " doesn't satisfy in this department .
verhoeven's slam-bang , in-your-face style of direction proves neither arousing nor erotic .
to make matters worse , you'll be forced to sit through the movie's clothed scenes , which don't cover up for laughable acting and some of the most absurd dialogue ever spoken in film history .
verhoeven and ezsterhas deserve credit for trying to break ground , but if it's adult entertainment you want , stay home and watch the playboy channel .
you'll be the wiser for it .