Leave Your Inhibitions At The Door
Yesterday was a pretty big victory for me. I have had a secret love in my life for a while and only recently was able to be open about it. I knew some people would judge. I knew some people would think less of me, maybe stop talking to me if they new my secret love. A love that burns deep and long: Showgirls. The movie.
Yeah, I used to keep it in the closet by just watching it on TBS (edited) or maybe if I was lucky late night on Showtime (god, I loved that channel when it was sleazier). But the other day while I was spending my holiday gift certificate at Target, I gave into my temptation and bought it. Sure, that's probably not what my grandma was picturing her little sweetheart would spend it on, but how could I not! There on the cover is Jessie Freaking-Spano, staring at me with those bedroom eyes I’ve seen locked on Albert Clifford Slater a hundred times. She is standing behind a black curtain with the same frizzed out hair and strange horse-like features…oh Elizabeth Berkley you had to be mine!
So I bought it. I bought condoms, tampons among other things that day and I was BY FAR the most embarrassed about buying Showgirls. BY FAR.
So yesterday, I read this article and suddenly my love can be free to roam with the love shared by those who watch Spiceworld, Barb Wire and Anaconda with any regularity. I too love a cult classic, and I am not ashamed to proudly display it in my DVD collection, or pop it in when everyone comes over drunk after the bars close, oh no, I am proud.
Let me tell you why you too should own it.
Reasons to own Showgirls:
1. Elizabeth Berkley’s acting. I mean sister was known for being on Saved by the Bell. At least Mario Lopez got his shit together enough to make some TV movies, host The Other Half, etc. Her illustrious career included Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style, Saved by the Bell: Las Vegas Wedding and White Wolf II (let me guess, you didn’t even see White Wolf I?). So yeah, Berk's acting cred was a little thin. And they thought, yeah, let’s go with the girl whose audition tape includes her being addicted to No Doze. Good idea, fellas.
Elizabeth Berkley’s ass. Okay, I hate what Cosmo, supermodels, Twiggy and Kate Moss have done to our culture, hate it. But, alas, so it is, and I am sorry, but Berks needed to get some of that under control before she went commando in front of the camera. During the audition scene where she’s trying to go from Stripper at the Cheetah to topless dancer in the Stardust Casino’s production “Goddess,” she only wears panty hose and a bra, and baby girl gots more than junk in the trunk, she’s got a whole rummage sale.
2. Elizabeth Berkley on coke. Okay it's 1994 or whatever and Berks is sitting there highlighting her lines and thinking about how this part is going to be her way back to the top. The she reads the script and realizes it's shit. I mean she had to know, HAD TO KNOW. And she gets nervous. Maybe this will ruin her, maybe this will be the last straw for her dreams of showing everyone from Farmington Hills, Michigan that she’s made it! So she does a line of coke with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, and she gets inspired to play this Nomi Malone like a fierce Taurus on crack-cocaine. And now you can enjoy the most spastic portrayal of a “young drifter” ever.
3. Kyle MacLachan is in it. Yes, if you're cool, you may remember him as Charlotte’s impotent husband Trey MacDougal in Sex and the City or if you’re even cooler, you’ll remember him from David Lynch joints such as Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks or if you’re even cooler, you’re remember him from The Flintstones. Yeah, I think he was the bad guy or something. But in Showgirls, he’s the dreamy head of entertainment, which I guess means you get to drive a $400,000 Lamborghini, which is pretty sweet. He also hooks up with Berks, and you get to see the most awful and unarousing sex scene ever. But more on that later.
4. The clothes and nails. This has a little to do with reason number two and little to do with how obsessed Joe Eszterhas is with long painted fingernails. Okay, so basicly everything that Berks wears is totally inappropriate for her um, shape. Naked she’s fine. I mean a little thick, but all in all, nice to look at nude. Now, you squeeze that ass into a pair of faded Levis and you’ve got some problems. Also, apparently Berks’ character is really good at doing nails, and it is important for her to have nails that would stereotypically resonate with the trashiest of the white and ghettoest of the black. Seriously, these nails are long, striped, bejeweled and the entire focus of several scenes.
5. It was supposed to be good. Yeah, it really was a pseudo-All About Eve remake by the Basic Instinct team of director Paul Verhoeven, and writer Joe Eszterhas. I mean I don’t know a lot about writing a screenplay, and I know even less about directing, but shouldn’t a movie at least have a moderately believable plot and decent acting? I mean when I read it was a stripper Cinderella story, I didn’t think that’s because it was going to be as believable as a freaking magic pumpkin being my transportation to fairy tale ball hosted by a Prince.
6. THE sex scene. I bet you didn’t think a sex scene could be soul crushing did you? Well, you need to check out what happens when Kyle MacLachan taps that ass. To set the scene, Kyle and Berks are having a sexy dip in the pool, waterfalls and all. Things get hot when she schlobs his knob underwater, but soon they become one…one seizuring fish, that is. For some reason, Verhoeven thought it would be hot, hot, hot to have Berks just fuck the hell out of poor Kyle, which was to include no less than her entire upper body flopping wildly to the point where you know if this was real, she would have actually broken that man’s dick. I am not joking. It is that bad.
7. The best line ever said in a movie: Strip club owner to Berks now that she has made it as nude dancer: “Must be weird not having anyone come on you." I am dead serious.
I need to stop because it's sad how long I could make this list. So any other highlights I would mention here are summed up nicely by this reviewer and his guest’s after hosting what will soon be happing at my little casa: Showgirls party.
Please run to your nearest DVD store and pick up Showgirls for the best 131 minutes you’ll ever have.