Picks and Pans Review: Showgirls
You want to see bare breasts? Well, then, Showgirls is the movie for you because women's mammaries are onscreen here as often as Cal Ripken Jr. shows up for work, which is to say all the time. These breasts are attached to Las Vegas strippers and showgirls, whose jobs require much vigorous movement. These jouncing chests, along with bare derrieres and some bikini-waxed nether regions, are Showgirls' major—and only—selling point. To say this movie is smarmy is to understate the case. To say it stinks is more like it.
Showgirls is the latest from writer Joe Eszterhas and director Paul Verhoeven, the team responsible for the equally prurient Basic Instinct. Here these gentlemen are after a morality play. Berkley (see page 110), playing their heroine, comes to Vegas to dance. She gets a job as a stripper and lap dancer, then starts clawing her way up the Vegas food chain, into a big casino's topless revue and ultimately, she hopes, the show's starring role. The higher she climbs, the more of her soul she loses, sleeping with her boss (MacLachlan), snorting cocaine, sabotaging a rival (Gershon), etc.
Berkley (Saved by the Bell) alternates between shrieking her lines and pouting, neither being dramatically effective choices. Best is Gershon, a scrawnier Raquel Welch lookalike, who can drawl a line so that, even when it's on the level of "We're all whores," and mostly it is, it has humor and bite.
My advice: Save the bucks. This movie is simply too bad—and plain old boring—to be dirty. (NC-17)
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