You know what, Roger Ebert perfectly summed up my feelings of this movie, a cult classic apparently, by simply stating “A waste of a perfectly good NC-17 rating.”
I couldn’t agree more.
“I’m gonna dance,” Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) insists in the opening scene of Showgirls, and dance she does. In this quasi-update of All About Eve, Nomi is a drifter whose sole ambition is to headline the “Goddess” topless dance show at the Stardust in Las Vegas. Of course, even Nomi must pay her dues, and she does so at the Cheetah, grinding poles and lap dancing her way to a future. Fortunately, her roommate, Molly, works at the Stardust and invites Nomi to see the show, where she meets Crystal Conners (Gina Gershon, in the Bette Davis role), with whom she immediately forms a love/hate relationship. Nomi soon learns what she must do to get ahead, and the rest of the film documents her cat-like crawl up the showgirl ladder of success. ~ Dylan Wilcox, Rovi
Man, for a stripper/adult oriented movie, this was incredibly boring. Also incredibly bad as far as a Paul Verhoeven movies go. Showgirls utilized there NC-17 rating to make a movie about as titillating as a Cinemax after hours movies but far less entertaining and sexy. I was watching this movie and hoping that just maybe, it fall into the so bad it’s good category, but not even an ounce of something tangible in terms of bad acting, stilted dialog and just slimy, sleaziness couldn’t translate into a guilty pleasure.
I am not certain what sort of feeling this movie was going for, but Christ I felt dirty watching this movie. The whole movie is like a sexual harassment scenario that the viewer is going through. It just feels not right and when the entire movie is pushing some sort of sexuality towards the viewer, you feel violated after watching it. Verhoeven definitely went for the seedy, grimy Las Vegas experience, the one you have when you don’t have a lot of money and must resort to more back alley enjoyment. Nothing about this movie is remotely entertaining, just cringe worthy as you watch Berkley just grind her way up the stripper pole to success as a feature dancer in some show. I don’t remember really what was going on as topless scenes weren’t enough to keep me remotely interested in giving a damn.
It’s the whole sleazy feel of this movie that just makes it off putting. The dialog is groan worthy and not in a pleasurable way. It’s over the top, stiff in the delivery and it drips with venom that doesn’t even sting when the women become catty with one another. I kind of wish that Berkley played her character much like Jessie Spano in Saved By the Bell. Hell she could have just did her whole caffeine pill breakdown scene and that would have been more exciting than this movie. Overall, I cared very little for the movie, it didn’t even keep my attention, Gershon is the only good thing about this and Showgirls feels like you went to the low class, seedy strip club instead of the one in the classy part of town.