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Erin Grant loses care and custody of her daughter when she's divorced from her husband Darrell, a small-time thief. Struggling for money, she is a dancer at a nightclub, where one night Congressman Dilbeck (in disguise) attacks another member of the audience. A spectator, who recognizes Dilbeck and is fond of Erin, offers to get back her daughter by blackmailing Dilbeck. Things do not work out as planned, though. Written by
Thomas Meyer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Good or bad? Funny or ridiculous? Misunderstood satirical masterpiece or...
...the flop that deserves six of its Razzies and the nomination for Worst Picture of the Decade?
I think, "Striptease" (1996) directed by Andrew Bergman based on the book by Carl Hiaasen, is all of the above - a curious mixture of laughs, satire, absurdism, darkness, silliness, and over-seriousness. The latter comes from Demi Moore who plays Erin Grant, the FBI secretary - losing her job and the custody over her daughter to no good small time crook wheelchairs stealing husband (Robert Patrick looking and acting like a stoned, redneck version of Gary Oldman) and who takes a job as an exotic dancer in the local club "Eager Beaver" to earn money for her court appeal. In the club she becomes the hottest attraction and meets many...interesting characters, the most colorful being, of course Congressman David Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds) who "just loves naked women. It's a character flaw" and who is absolutely smitten by Erin. Erin also makes friends with a club bouncer, Shad (Ving Rhames) who is perhaps the best thing in the movie - clever, sharp, sarcastic, with the great sense of humor. One scene where Shad tells to Dilbeck's bodyguards that Meryl Streep used to work in "Eager Beaver" as an exotic dancer and they seem to believe him is brilliant. If only everything had been as good as he was we would've had a really great movie. What do we have now? Well, Demi Moore looks really good with the minimum clothes on. I mean, the woman was a 33 year old mother of three at the time and her body was marvel to behold. I just think that she was too serious, intense, and solemn doing the striptease numbers after all it is not only strip it is tease, too. It goes to her acting in the movie in general. Reynolds seemed to have a lot of fun with his sleazy drunk Congressman David Dilbeck, election-day choice of Christian groups and a lot of laughs comes from his mannerism and quotes. There are plenty of laughs, actually, in "Striptease" but quite often they seem like the wrong and unintentional type for the movie material.
Who had the best laugh? I'd guess, Demi Moore did after been paid $12.5 million one of the highest paychecks for an actress back then.
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