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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Showgirls (1995)



Reviews and Comments

The intention of Showgirls, I suppose, is to cast some light on the cruel, backstabbing world of backstage Las Vegas. But writer Joe Eszterhas and director Paul Verhoeven are clearly more interested in the sensationalistic details in the telling. The result is one of the most notorious failures in the recent history of cinema. It is not unlike the stage shows depicted here, disparaged by one character as dishonest, in the sense that for all the theatrical pretentions, people are only going to look at women. Showgirls is exactly like that, and oh how pretentious it is! It tries so hard to be meaningful and fails so completely that it's pretty much unstomachable on any level. There isn't one character here who is either likeable or believable or worth caring about. There isn't one theme that is realized. The most insightful thing it has to say is -- get ready to be enlightened -- "The world is a cruel place." Unfortunately, this point is not made so much by the movie as by the experience of watching it.