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Rachel is a quick-witted and lovable stay-at-home mom. Frustrated with the realities of preschool auctions, a lackluster sex life and career that's gone kaput, Rachel visits a strip club to spice up her marriage and meets McKenna, a stripper she adopts as her live-in nanny.Written by
The Film Arcade
This is an example of film I would never claim is great, but is certainly off the usual beaten (to death) path and therefore at is interesting at least.
The story is about a self-absorbed yuppie mother (Katherine Hahn) who tries to spice up her marriage by going to a strip club and then bringing home a lap dancer (Juno Temple) to be her nanny. I can imagine two movies immediately: it could be some late-night cable sexploitation thing where a hot woman discovers her inner stripper and lives happily (and sexily) ever after, OR it could be some half-assed feminist diatribe where two women from different social classes learn to relate to each other as they come to terms with the commodification of women by the patriarchy, yada, yada. Fortunately, this movie is neither. Instead it's kind of satirical black comedy about a not particularly sympathetic female character who in quest of some kind of sexual liberation makes a complete mess of her life, her new "friend's" life, and generally the lives of everyone around her.
It's also nice to find a movie about strippers that strikes a balance between pure exploitation and the kind "female empowerment" claptrap where Hollywood actresses take on "brave" role as strippers and sex workers, but strictly observe their iron-clad "no-nudity clauses" because that would somehow be giving in to "sexism". Both actresses bravely shed both their clothes and their need to ALWAYS maintain audience sympathy. Juno Temple's character is a proud "sex worker" who does what she does, not because she is either "exploited" or "empowered", but simply because it is a valid career choice. She's totally amoral--kind of like a sexy shark. Hahn's character is a self-loathing Jewish feminist who thinks she has less "hang-ups" than everyone around her when she probably has a lot more.
Hahn at times risks being completely unsympathetic, which may explain a lot of the negative reaction to this movie. It's really hard to dislike Juno Temple, but I think the fact that she's such a desirable little cutie who takes her clothes off in every other role sometimes overshadows what a talented actress she is. Yeah, she gets all the "nudie" roles her prudish American peers won't touch, but if you compare this to "Magic, Magic" to "Cracks" to the British "St. Trinian's" comedies she first appeared in, it's evident she has a lot more range and talent than she's given credit for. This movie is not a comedy masterpiece by any means, but it is certainly worth a look.
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