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I read the book first and I can only say that I feel sorry for its author, Carl Hiassen. The book was an extremely funny satire of capitalism, politics, gender roles, etc. and the film was just an excuse for the lead actor to show off her surgically enhanced body. I mentioned the book in a university tutorial for my course on literary satire, and no one would believe me that it was not trash because they could not separate it from the movie which followed it. Too bad - the book is good enough to have warranted a script that stays true to the original story rather than exchange wit and sophistication for extended dance sequences and the lubricatory possibilities of yogurt.
...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.
The summary line above came from my wife after seeing Andrew Bergman take a
really funny book by Carl Hiaasen and turn it into a "Sincere Sally Field
Gutsy Mom Works As A Stripper Even Though It Means Shame And Disgust Because
It's For Her *Daughter*!!!" movie.
Ving Rhames and Burt Reynolds deliver deft, wonderful performances that are completely sunk by Demi Moore's Jawline Of Grim Determination. The book pointed out that the ones degraded by stripping are actually the men, who turn into drooling, brainless fools, while the women have the control and collect the money. The movie has to add a scene where the daughter sees the mother dancing (oh horrors!) and the mother has to explain her Sordid Living to the Innocent Babe.
Also, in the book, Erin is a top dancer who doesn't have the biggest boobs in the room, but who gets the best tips because she actually knows how to dance. So who do they get to play her? Bebe Neuwirth? Noooo. Demi Moore. All tits and no dancing talent.
Demi Moore was apparently determined to keep this movie from being seen as a comedy. The worst thing to say about this movie is that she succeeded completely.
Hey, come on, guys - where's your sense of humor?? The movie is based on
book by Carl Hiassen, the master of comedy/thrillers set in southern
Florida. Demi Moore, Burt Reynolds and especially Ving Rhames bring the
characters to life, and then some! Doesn't seem realistic? Have you seen
John Sayles' "Sunshine State"? This is how the "other half" lives,
it or not...
And even not, it's a very funny film. Demi deserves a lot of credit
taking on this quite challenging role. She's got a great body, and more
power to her!! May the best woman win!! And she does!!!
In addition, Burt Reynolds once again proves that he has a marvelous sense of comedy timing, character creation, and isn't afraid to make a fool of himself. And Ving...., he's just marvelous. For a good time, rent "Striptease". And bring along your friends.
for those of you who don't know (and I'm sure there's a lot of you)
Strip Tease was actually a book written by Carl Hiaasen, and a damn
good book at that. Brilliant characters, an intriguing storyline,
hilarious incidents, sex, violence, the works...
I gave the movie a 5 because Robert Patrick and Burt Reynolds were absolutely hysterical and on-point (I'm sure THEY actually READ the book), but aside from those two gems this movie was a disgrace.
What happened to the plot?!? What happened to like half the story?!? What happened to my self respect?!? Why change the ending?!? The story was enthralling and thoroughly enjoyable when I read the book, the movie (breasts considered) not so much..
There's a gratuitous 3 minute topless dancing scene, followed by 3 minutes of Demi and the little girl crying and being superdramatic. CHOOSE which audience you're marketing this movie towards! Women won't respect a nonsense T&A fest and men don't want to see a bunch of sappy overdramatics when the movie was advertised like a softcore porno flick.
The fact that a BOOK about strippers was exponentially better than the movie.. that's saying something.
- Anonymous Disgrunted Hiaasen Fan
This is a very misunderstood film. It's not some sleaze erotic thriller but a comedy drama. It can be off putting when you go from joke to a serious part of the story, and there might be a little too much stripping but it's not that bad. The story has murder mystery and and full belly laughs and a few terrific one liners. If it was made by the Coens everyone would call it a masterpiece. You shouldn't watch this film expecting something serious, just go with it and see how much fun you have. Burt Reynolds gives the performance of his career, Ving Rhames as good as ever, and there's Robert Patrick playing a loser so with out morals he steals wheelchairs for a living. Films like this, that are neither one thing or the other, are always uneven. But the director/writer manages to pull it off. It could be better but it could have been a whole lot worse.
It may not have mirrored the book, but it has its own charm. I haven't
read the book, so maybe that's why I can judge the movie on its own
Ving Rhames is terrific-- honestly, has he ever had a clunker of a performance? Demi is luscious (the dance scenes, and the cute scene where she's getting dressed/dancing after a shower), and Burt Reynolds is hilarious. I really loved the congressman character meeting the right wing group slathered in vaseline. "Fresh, hot, lint!" indeed! Give it a whirl... it ain't Citizen Kane, but it ain't Battlefield Earth either.
Dire, but strangely fascinating, Demi Moore vehicle about a single mother who turns to a life of stripping in order to gain custody of her daughter. (Robert Patrick is the drug-stealing ex-husband who gains custody of the child.) Ving Rhames is a bodyguard and Burt Reynolds has a nice co-star role as a sleazy political candidate. This movie was extremely bashed when it came out, but it's better than "Showgirls," and sort of watchable. If you don't expect much of a story, then this is for you...be warned, however, that there is a lot of stripteasing in this film.
** / *****
Many critical reviews are totally off the mark as they judge this movie
as something it is not: it is not an erotic movie, a comedy, or a
beauty contest, it is a political thriller - and an excellent one!
In this genre, there are few films that can compare in suspense and memorable scenes and characters. Demi Moore plays a mother who works in a striptease bar to raise money for a trial to get her daughter back from her criminal ex-husband. When a corrupt congressman becomes obsessed with her, misbehaves and is blackmailed, his political friends set out to kill everyone who endangers the reelection of their puppet. Demi Moore's character, as those of her allies, the formidable bouncer Shad and the clever and honest Police Lt. Al Garcia, are very likable and easy to identify with. Armand Assante as Al Garcia, and Ving Rhames as Shad, put in excellent performances as did most of the supporting cast, such as Stuart Pankin as dodgy lawyer, Robert Patrick as crazy ex-husband, or Paul Guilfoyle as sinister campaign manager. What I did not like, and which was consequently attacked in almost all reviews of this movie, are the actual striptease scenes. They are not sexy, are nothing but distractions, and should have been kept down to a minimum. Also, Demi Moore's acting performance, while not bad, is not on on a par with, for instance, Burt Reynold's.
Speaking of Burt Reynolds: he is what makes this movie special. I challenge anyone to name a politician in movie history who is more corrupt or depraved than Reynold's character in this movie. Can there ever be a scene that more vividly portrays corrupt politics than when the congressman has to be dragged away by his handlers from his masturbation session to hold a speech to young Christians about family values? But may be it is this political message that caused the media to revile this movie so, which it does not deserve.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Striptease is even worse than Showgirls. The stripping is awful, it is
apparently heavily erotic - I didn't see anything erotic, the dancing
is laughable, this has to be the most overrated erotic movie of all
time. There is nothing, not a single relevant, serious, well
choreographed erotic dance clip or sex scene. The story was turned into
a very shallow script and the only thing that the directors cared
about, was showing Demi Moore in a thong.
Looking back, this is where Demi's career ended. This movie was so bad it evicted Demi from the movie industry that disabled her any opportunity for a serious role. Demi Moore will be remembered forever in Striptease, the woman who showed a few bits of her butt in embarrassing fashion.
There's no substance, no intrigue, no real insight, no drama, if they wanted to do a sexually orientated movie, then they should have waived the rights to Hustler to make a porno movie.
Who ever played in this movie never recovered from it in the aftermath. Even for $15M, it's not worth it. Oh and the viewer also wastes 2hrs of his time.
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