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Sunday, February 5, 2012

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 51 - Striptease (1996)

Striptease (1996; Castle
Rock Entertainment)

Demi Moore was one of the biggest stars in the 80's and 90’s.  Though much of her film repertoire has been less-than-reputable, one of her worst films to date was the failed adaptation Striptease.  The film is based on a satirical novel about a woman who turns to exotic dancing to earn money to fight for custody of her daughter.  Her character was a fighter, but she was also funny.  The movie took the premise and flipped it on its head.

The film version of the lead, Erin Grant, is mistakenly taken in a very different direction.  For some reason it’s decided (I’m not sure by who) that she should be portrayed as the “strong woman” character.  This turned out to be a mistake as every single character in the story was in a comedy except Erin.  She was trying to play the loving mother, moving and challenging while fighting strong against what is considered to be societal norms.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.

The film also lost a lot of the novel’s laughs due to the overly-sincere screenplay.  And while there was some honesty in the book, this movie is so heavy-handed and filled with blatant feminism that it is borderline offensive.  The stripping scenes (that are about as erotic as a Victoria’s Secret ad featuring Rosie O’Donnell) are mournful, as if we’re meant to feel her desperation, forgetting, once again, that THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A FREAKING COMEDY!!!!

Striptease was a critical failure, and a flop overall with moviegoers. It became national news that this supposedly pro-women movie did so poorly. Some actually blamed the poster, calling it pornographic, and some blamed the power of word-of-mouth. The film was recognized for its badness, however. It won six Razzies including Worst Picture and Worst Actress (Demi Moore).

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