Striptease (1996) Poster


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Good or bad? Funny or ridiculous? Misunderstood satirical masterpiece or...
Galina12 August 2005
...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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I feel bad for the author.
snafooey16 February 1999
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.
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Not Without My G-String!
Craig Gustafson12 June 2000
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.
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Hiaasen should slap somebody
epic_of_mayhem4 October 2006
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
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Good stuff
tim zeeke (master_of_all)28 January 2009
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.
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There goes Demi Moore's career.
Lars Lendale9 June 2016
Warning: 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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really, a very funny movie
RainColumbia2 August 2003
Hey, come on, guys - where's your sense of humor?? The movie is based on a 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, believe it or not... And even not, it's a very funny film. Demi deserves a lot of credit for 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.
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Why the hating? It was fun!
cosmiquemuffin21 January 2005
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 merits.

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.
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Not as bad as they say it is, but still pretty poor...
MovieAddict201613 February 2004

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 warned, however, that there is a lot of stripteasing in this film.

** / *****
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It is a political thriller, not an erotic movie for god's sake!
smith2121211 July 2007
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.
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There must be a more painless way to see Demi Moore disrobe...
moonspinner5525 June 2006
Shabby comedy-drama from Carl Hiaasen's novel has ex-FBI clerk Demi Moore turning to stripping in order to pay off her legal debts; seems she's in a fight to retrieve her child from her disreputable ex, yet the film doesn't see stripping as disreputable and therefore Moore is the good guy in the plot. Director Andrew Bergman may have helmed this project blindfolded, how else to explain the sketchily-drawn characters, the ridiculous strip-club sequences or a dire sub-plot involving Congressman Burt Reynolds? Solid supporting turns by Armand Assante as a cop and Ving Rhames as a bouncer give the film its only validity. As for Moore, she isn't a bad actress, nor is she a stupid one, but the $12 million she acquired for her non-performance here seems a joke on the audience--and on Hollywood. * from ****
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a skillful blend of comedy/drama/politics/thriller/crime drama (and Burt Reynolds in a brilliant comic turn)
disdressed1229 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
the movie Striptease is a combination crime drama/comedy/thriller.with a bit of political humour thrown manages to balance all of these elements well,and as a result is very entertaining.Demi Moore gets top billing here and is very convincing as Erin Grant a woman who loses custody of her daughter to her small time thug husband( played with great relish by Robert Patrick).In order to obtain the money to appeal the verdict she resorts to being an exotic dancer at a strip club.There are a few well known names in this movie,but It is Burt Reynolds who steals the show.Reynolds Plays Congressman David Dilbeck,who happens to be in the audience(incognito,of course)and falls head over heals in love?with Erin. Congressman Dilbeck also happens to be a full time horn dog,so comedy ensues.But there is one scene in particular where Dilbeck is scheduled to appear before a youth Christian conference and is late.the reason he is late is absolutely hysterical.I won't give any more away,except to say watch this movie.You will enjoy it. 7* out of 10
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At least Showgirls had personality, what was this?
Kristine22 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I was cruising through my movie channels and I saw that Striptease was playing, I remember seeing the trailer for this movie back in 1994 when I was a kid and wanted to see it, oh, my parents had to forbid it. But of course since I'm 23 and on my own, I think I was allowed to view it. I kinda wish now that I had my parents here to tell me no because this movie was really bad. I mean most people make fun of Showgirls, I mean yeah, it's understandable, but at least that had personality and more memorable moments than this. Demi Moore just strips down to some really depressing music and this movie has the strangest humor in the world. I could see how some people might get a kick out of it, but over all it just a bad movie, it has no zest and nothing to make it special. A story about a stripper... OK, here it goes.

The film revolves around Erin Grant, a former FBI secretary, who loses custody of her young daughter Angela to her ex-husband Darrell. In order to afford an appeal, Erin becomes a stripper at the Eager Beaver, a Miami strip club. A Congressman named David Dilbeck visits the club and immediately begins to adore Grant. Aware of Dilbeck's embarrassing indulgences, another Eager Beaver patron approaches Erin with a plan to manipulate the Congressman to settle the custody dispute in Erin's favor. However, Dilbeck has powerful business connections who want to ensure he remains in office. Consequently, those who can embarrass him in an election are murdered. Meanwhile, Erin retrieves her daughter from her negligent husband. Dilbeck's personal interest in Erin persists, and she is invited to perform privately for him. He asks her to become his lover and later his wife, despite his staff's concerns that she knows too much information. A debate occurs as to whether to kill Erin or simply keep her quiet by threatening to take away her daughter.

Demi is alright in the movie, if even that, I'm being pretty generous considering she let her daughter, Rumor, act as her daughter in this movie. If I were Rumor, I'd be like "next time, I pick the mother/daughter bonding event". I wouldn't really feel like watching my mother dance around naked for men nore a camera. Well Rumor must have gotten a huge raise in her allowance for that to happen. But anyways, I wouldn't recommend Striptease, it was a sleazy movie, I would even go as far to say that if you want sleaze, go for Showgirls, it's more fun to watch and make fun of, this was just a sad movie.

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Has nothing to do with the novel
Boyo-210 March 2000
The novel "Striptease" was everything you could ask for in a novel. The movie is the complete opposite and a major disappointment for me. I thought Demi was a decent choice and also applauded the casting of Robert Patrick as her good-for-nothing ex, and Ving Rhames as a bodyguard at the club.

However the entire thing ended up being a mess, and I can only hope I can erase the image of Burt Reynolds in his boxers, smothered with petroleum jelly from head to toe, from my mind.

Read the book!!
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I loved this movie and I'm not afraid to say so.
iamkatiebubbles23 August 2005
OKay, so it's a movie about a stripper... but I loved it and I don't care who knows it! I'm a huge Annie Lennox fan and Demi Moore was great dancing to her songs, she's a great actress and brought a touch of class to the stripper scene! (I'm not a lesbian by the way!) Basically I thought it was a great movie and can't see why most people think it's a dud... sure the storyline was a little unbelievable, but it wasn't taking itself seriously... the characters were all so different, all great in their own ways... I especially loved Ving Raymes character 'Shad' who was so hilarious... the whole movie was fun, energetic and overall in my opinion a great film... so stop the hating!!
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I'm guilty too....
Ghenghy28 December 2001
of overlooking this little gem when it was first released. Probably suffering from Demi-overload at the time or something. However, this is a terrific sleeper. A great combination of humor blended into the dark side of strip clubs with a good dose of real politik. Demi Moore is outstanding as a newcomer to the "Eager Beaver", a raunchy strip club where she does a more than adequate job of raising pulses while

Ving Rhames watches over her as self-appointed guardian(he's great as usual), and Burt Reynolds has never been funnier as a U.S.Congressman that would make Bill Clinton proud! The scene where he covers himself with vaseline to make love to Demi's "essence" is hysterical. This movie has a few low points but overall I give it a solid 9.
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Misunderstood Black Comedy
Arion (arion_p)30 July 2003
This movie is just like Carl Hiassen's novels (upon which it was based) -- a little off, a little crude and incredibly funny. The dark humor mixed with the believably bizarre characters makes this a wonderfully funny time. I almost died laughing... especially Burt Reynolds, who steals every one of his scenes. Not for everyone, but this film is hilarious if you take the time to enjoy it.
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Stripper defeats evil with a couple of adequate one-liners. Live with it.
johnsydwaynest19 June 2005
It's funny! It's a movie about a stripper, are you really expecting it to be complicated and profound!? It's funny, it's fun,and it has enough to keep the general populace interested besides the stripping. Just let it be what it is, and you sure won't be disappointed, you'll probably even be impressed! :)Honestly, folks, it isn't supposed to be the Lord of the Rings, nor is it supposed to be the Godfather or Trois, or anything else amazing, if you even call those such. I don't, personally. Anyways, hope you enjoy, I don't think the movie's anything fandabulous, but I think we should look for things to see what they say, not expect them to say what we want. If any of you are waiting for that, go out and make your own movies! Heh. Seeya.
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Liked it, a revolution at the time for sure
Mark Johnson10 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Woa I remember when I thought this e-Striptease movie starring Demi Moore was trashy and obscene back then.... now it's actually more prude that the usual music video on MTV. Demi Moore gave her 100% in the stripper character and wasn't afraid of breaking new grounds and offending people in 1996. This is a recipe for success, just like Madonna did for the entire lifetime of her career. I love especially the scene where she stripteases from a cabaret costume with the fedora hat. Hot! And all this plot about the gangster guys and how she needs to protect her and her daughter makes it a timeless, revolutionary movie in my opinion. a+. For the relatively low budget at the time in 1996 this movie is a modern masterpiece in my opinion and since almost 20 years no one has even dared to replicate such subject matter and plot on the big screen.
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Justice Is Great
wilsonandrewc9 February 2008
There is nothing better than seeing someone who is straight up evil and heartless get what is coming to them. This movie was a cult comedy that had a great ending. Demi Moore marries a man who is addicted to pills. After having a daughter with this man, she loses her job as an FBI secretary, divorces him and loses custody of her daughter. So she fights to get her daughter back and to prove that he is trying to keep her from doing that. She is emotional but she is strong and angry and knows exactly what this man is about, hes a liar. Hes a thief and she isn't going to let it go. Sharing custody with her ex husband they fight with everything they have, finding a homicide detective to actually help her cause and get her daughter back. In the end thats exactly what she does. Getting custody and raising her daughter. Its a true story of a stripper fighting for what she knows is right. Fighting for what she knew she would want for her child. She doesn't give up and she doesn't quit. Its a funny movie. He was an unfit father and he will never see his child again. A good movie, a must see.
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A dreadful job from a terrific book.
catbird-223 January 1999
Yes, I know that books aren't movies, and that faithful adaptations are not always possible or desirable. But Hiaasen's book is eminently filmable: lots of plot, eccentric characters, blacker than black humor and very imaginative violence.

Instead of filming *that,* this was a vehicle for the sexy-as-day-old-bread Demi Moore. She's built, but as an actor ... she's built. Ving Rhames and the marvelous Burt Reynolds are seldom seen, Demi preens and prances, and the comic violence which drives the book is almost all excised. A pointless bore.
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It's not as bad as they's WORSE!!!
Sean Gallagher22 September 1999
Two amazing things about this movie; no, make that three:(1) That Carl Hiaasen actually liked the adaptation of his hilarious novel. Hiaasen is still one of the funniest writers around(if you read STRIPTEASE and liked it, I highly recommend all of the other novels he wrote by himself), but this proves his taste is questionable. This movie, unlike the novel, is painfully unfunny. There are occasional good lines from the novel(like when Ving Rhames(the only good actor here, along with Demi Moore's daughter Rumer Willis) telling two security guards that Meryl Streep used to strip under the name Chesty LeFrance), and even a couple of original ones(like Moore refusing to dance with cream corn because she doesn't want it to go up her "hoo-ha"), but the motivations, the characters, and the story are all hacked away; (2) that Andrew Bergman is responsible for this mess. After all, from his track record as writer(THE IN-LAWS, FLETCH, co-writer of SOAPDISH) and director(THE FRESHMAN, HONEYMOON IN VEGAS(both of which he also wrote), IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU), you'd think this was someone who knows funny. But he goes so wrong here it's unbelievable. Typical is the scene where Burt Reynolds character, who we know is a lech, delivers a sermon on "family values." Did Bergman think he was actually breaking new ground here? Contrast that to a similar scene in the book, where we hear(though don't see) his character deliver an off-the-cuff speech on Israel which works precisely because he's feeling horny. This is funny. What's in the movie isn't; (3) That Demi Moore keeps appearing in novel adaptations when she apparently doesn't understand what made the source work. This is the third novel adaptation(THE SCARLET LETTER, THE JUROR) in a row she appeared in, and they were all awful adaptations of fine books. Okay, I'm not a big fan of hers, but she's done good work(G.I. JANE, IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK), and this isn't it.
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More Baloney Than Bare Facts
ccthemovieman-116 August 2006
This soft-core glossy skin flick (which is what it is, if you're honest about it) actually was better than I anticipated. the story was interesting all the way through, featured some great female bodies of course, but had decent acting and photography. The nudity involved breasts, nothing else and there was no sex. Demi Moore looked awesome at times; too tough-looking at other times.

Robert Patrick and Burt Reynolds played over-the-top characters who got a bit annoying after awhile. Reynolds is particularly sleazy and they use him in this film to denigrate elected officials and people who speak out for "family values." Hollywood loves to trash the latter, having no values of its own. They also trash Republicans and a group called "Young Christians," just more typical cheap shots of the Libeal film-making industry. They are unrelenting.

The only likable character in the movie is played by Armand Assante, although the film makes you root for Moore in her custody case.

I understand the book is much. Gosh, that's a surprise!
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A funny movie about stripteasers and Florida politics
todnet20 December 2001
I thought it was funny and sexy. Demi Moore (even though I'm not a fan) was very convincing as a stripper - excuse me - dancer. The extras (other real strippers) were very good. It was high-quality pornography with a great story. Some of the actors were exceptional and a great find was to see R. Patrick as her husband (now star of X-files.) Her daughter is played by her real daughter and is very cute and the whole thing just works. Reviewers who say this is a bomb are just wrong. Watch it for fun.
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The worst film ever made
seriksson19 August 2005
I have considered this long and hard, but can honestly conclude that I have never seen a worst film than this. Most films in "worst films" lists are low budget films that were rushed B movies that turned into D movies. But Striptease has no excuses. The story is taken from a good book and made into the worst script I have ever heard. Of course, the acting, direction and script are all bad, but with Striptease they are so consistently awful throughout the film that it really defies belief.

And don't even mention Demi making her character such a mindnumbingly clichéd "doing it for the kids" mom! Starpower at its worst? Nothing can beat this.
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