Every actor and actress has their specialties. For Demi Moore it
is her willingness to take large sums of money to play in movies no
matter how terrible the script. As proof of this thesis, simply
consider her recent bombs at the box office and with the critics. THE
SCARLET LETTER and THE JUROR immediately come to mind, but there were
probably others. To add to her collection, she reportedly was paid
over $12 million dollars to star in STRIPTEASE. In short, it is
actually even worse that its title might lead you to believe. It is so
bad that one begins to think it must be a parody of something, but
In the opening sequence, Erin Grant (Demi Moore) is in court being
lectured by a cliche of an unreasonable judge. I am not going to use
the word cliche again in this review since it applies to every single
character in the show so whenever I talk about a character, just insert
the word cliche.
Erin is told that since she does not have a job, she has lost
custody of her seven year old daughter Angie (Rumer Willis who is Moore
and Bruce Willis's real-life daughter) to her ex-husband. She pleads
that she was a secretary at the FBI until recently when they fired her
over her husband's dealing drugs. She points out that he, being a drug
dealer and user, is not fit to raise a child. His attorney says his
client has reformed. The husband is now a paid informant to the drug
enforcement authorities. Suspension of disbelieve of this magnitude is
impossible. This show raises implausibility to new heights. Yes, I
know it is very loosely based on a true story, but as shown in this
film, I do not buy a minute of it.
As you have guessed by the title, she takes a job as a stripper in
order to make the money and have a job so she can get her kid back.
The club she finds is called the "Eager Beaver". Her fellow strippers
include one woman who literally has breasts the size of bowling balls.
I am not making any this up.
Congressman Davey Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds) and his bodyguard
frequent the place as do a lot of other characters. Ving Rhames
(MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE) plays a bouncer named Shad who keeps a monkey on
his shoulder, and who is not a very good bouncer since he spends his
time reading The Wall Street Journal rather than paying attention to
business. Also in the show is Armand Assante as Al Garcia.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. If the movie is bad,
at least it will be erotic what with a semiclad Moore and all of those
other naked bodies doing stripteases on the screen. Well, forget it.
This is one of the least erotic and most distasteful movies to come by
in a long time. Remember the energy and love that Jennifer Beals and
all of the other dancers put into FLASHDANCE? Well, this show is not
that much different but here the dancing/stripping is gritty, demeaning
The film is horribly misdirected by Andrew Bergman. The real
travesty however is the script, also by Andrew Bergman and based on the
novel by Carl Hiaasen. Like a game of poker where the lowest hand
wins, the actors try to outdo each other seeing who can deliver the
most pathetic performance. It is a close call, but I think Reynolds
beat out Moore. His acting reaches new levels of embarrassment. Once
he was an okay actor and then he went downhill - fast.
STRIPTEASE runs 1:55, but it will feel like a millennium. It is
rated R for nudity, violence, bad language and sexual situations. I
strongly suggest that this film is not suitable for a human being of
any age. Avoid this picture like the plague. I am in a generous mood
so I will give the film 1/2 of a star for the sweet smile on Rumer
Willis's face since she is a dead ringer for my son's good friend
Copyright © 1996 Steve Rhodes