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Striptease (1996, Demi Moore, Burt Reynolds)

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Demi Moore stunned audiences in America when, amidst rumours that her figure was less than lithe, took this as a chance to prove her critics wrong. And then proceeded to do so at every given opportunity for the next year. Coming a year after the woefully earnest Showgirls (1995) (it even boasted the tagline: ‘It’s not Showgirls… then again it ain’t Snow White either’), the two were bracketed together and the fact that this was an adaptation of Hiaasen’s witty and satirical look at the sex industry, was lost.

Moore plays mother Erin Grant who is pushed into stripping after she loses her child (Moore and Bruce Willis’ real life child Rumer Willis) in a custody battle. Determined to raise the cash to win her daughter back, Moore joins the happy family of the Eager Beaver, much to the delight of Republican Congressman Burt Reynolds. When he is not defending American family values or salivating over gyrating women, Reynolds is involved is some fairly dodgy dealings and it is not long before Moore and other members of the Eager Beaver (including bouncer Ving Rhames and fellow performer, Pandora Peaks) are drawn in.

Moments of wit and comedy may be drowned by the copious amounts of flesh on show and the controversy over Moore’s record-breaking $12 million contract, but they do exist, as does a plot that aims to strip away the hypocrisy of Republican politics. Hiaasen’s book is generally regarded as brilliant, and while the film does blunt some of his edges, there is still plenty left to enjoy.

production details
USA | 115 minutes | 1996

Director: Andrew Bergman
Writers: Andrew Bergman, Carl Hiaasen based on Hiassen’s novel by the same name

cast
Demi Moore as Erin Grant
Burt Reynolds as David Dilbeck
Armand Assante as Lt. Al Garcia
Ving Rhames as Shad
Robert Patrick as Darrell Grant
Paul Guilfoyle as Malcolm Moldovsky
Rumer Willis as Angela Grant
Jerry Grayson as Orly
Robert Stanton as Erb Crandal
Stuart Pankin as Alan Mordecai
Pandora Peaks as Urbanna Sprawl
Barbara Alyn Woods as Lorelei
Kimberly Flynn as Ariel Sharon
Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Rita Grant
Frances Fisher as Donna Garcia
Rena Riffel as Tiffany
Dina Spybey-Waters as Monique, Jr.
Eduardo Yáñez as Chico