Calling Showgirls "poorly acted" or "sexist" completely misses the point; it's like accusing Britney Spears of not being a "real musician," as though you've discovered something. Of *course* Showgirls is exploitative and demeaning to women. Almost all Hollywood movies are demeaning to women. Almost all of them are male-written, male-directed male fantasies. But most of them cover this fact with a thin veneer of "empowerment" and "sensitivity," making perfunctory, surface concessions to political correctness. It's hypocritical, dishonest and has horrible long-term effects on the psyches of young impressionable girls (and boys). The brilliance of Showgirls is that it gathers all of the worst Hollywood masculine excess and throws it unapologetically in our faces. The movie is straight-from-the-id, primal, brutish male fantasy. Every woman in the movie is a laughable caricature who advances, if at all, by deceiving other women and becoming a sexual object for men. The "heroine," Nomi, crosses every line, sells every shred of dignity, physically assaults her female competitors, sleeps with her boss (in the most over-the-top sex scene in cinematic history), gets her best friend raped... and at the end of the film, claims that she has gambled and won "herself." This tragi-comic nod to empowerment is a slap to the face of anyone who's been paying attention. Whether Esterhauz and Verhoeven intended it as such, Showgirls is at once a camp classic and a sly satire, an example of everything our culture at once wallows in and disavows. Sure, you can react with righteous indignation, waggle your finger at the movie, and pat yourself on the back for being so enlightened. But maybe you should take a look around, at the billboards, the commercials, the sitcoms, the movies, the music videos, your own prejudices... and think about whether you can't find a better target.
Nomi Malone, a mysterious young girl with the ambition to dance embarks on a journey to Las Vegas to become a showgirl in a high-class hotel show. There she meets Molly, a seamstress at the Stardust Hotel and the two quickly become good friends. She gets a job as a lap dancer at the seedy Cheetah Club but after a chance meeting with Cristal Connors, the star of Goddess, the current show at the hotel where Molly works, Nomi manages to secure an audition for a spot on the chorus line.However she soon realises that fame comes with a price as her friendships, her morals and her soul are put to the test as she works her way up the ladder and eventually becomes the star of the show, stealing Cristal's part. She begins to wonder if all of her work was for nothing and if she can reclaim her life back before it is too late.
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