I was excited to see this brilliant ensemble cast do their magic in Go Go Tales, but I found myself unexpectedly being served a gourmet hot-dog from actors who are capable of playing much more challenging characters. What makes a gourmet hot-dog anyways? Is it made from the lips and a**holes of kobe beef? Is there fois gras blended in with the questionable parts of top-shelf carcasses? I don't think it is an accident that right in the middle of Go Go Tales there is a scene with gourmet hot dogs being cooked the gourmet way - in microwave ovens, while the beautiful go-go dancers cook themselves in a faulty tanning bed.
This isn't to say that Go Go Tales was badly acted - it was very well acted for what it is - a meandering vignette of a failing second rate strip joint; a metaphor for how even the most exotic dreams and aspirations are subject to blandness like anything else. It plays out like a cabaret stage production, a bit of aimless vaudeville salted with an undercurrent of subtle existential humming: A page out of Cassavetes' Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Like 'Chinese Bookie', this film offered more pleasure for me in the thinking about it afterward than it was to watch.
I can't say that I didn't like it, and I can't say that I want to watch it again. But for a gourmet hot-dog, it wasn't terrible; it was mostly just a regular hot-dog made with some Hoskins, Dafoe and a dash of Modine, thrown in a microwave and served in the bawdy atmosphere of a musky strip club.
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