I don't understand how so many consider this movie unintentionally funny when there are so many signs that the humor is so obviously intended. To get what I'm saying, understand that Showgirls
is a satire on Hollywood in so many ways. From setting it in Las Vegas and making it centered around dancers, it's like a big sign when the paparazzi are all over Vegas dancers that the director is being completely tongue-in-cheek. Many moments in the film that most refer to as the most infamously â€œso-bad-it's-funnyâ€ moments actually have situations that prove their humor to be intended. The â€œI just got hereâ€ here line the main character mutters in the beginning... how can someone really say that wasn't intentionally over-the-top and hilarious? The ketchup coming out of the bottle... was that really unintentional? Was the fact that the Molly character in that scene gives a greatly straight-faced comeback stare to her really unintentional? Give me a break... Or another scene in which most refer to as the â€œscrewing the fishâ€ scene in the pool. Do you really think the director was trying to be sexy with that? It's obviously a joke on the lapdance she did to that same guy earlier in the film. Many more scenes that are â€œunintentionally funnyâ€ just have things in them that make them seem so obviously intended. Verhoeven has always been a satirist. This film is no exception, and his humor is boldly here.
Moving on from my mini-bitch rant (haha), the film is quite brilliant, I think. A satire on the Hollywood industry and its dark secrets of sex and violence. This remains so obvious in how Las Vegas is presented as some kind of place of dreams (when it really isn't) and the dancers are seen as paparazzi-chased celebrities (when they really aren't). The film shows, through Nomi Malone (seriously, do you really think the filmmakers weren't being cheeky with that name?), that in order to make it as a big celebrity in the business, you must screw and/or hurt others on the way up that latter. And it's all for you to be famous for a while, because not everyone is famous eternally. â€œThere is always someone hungrier coming up the stairs after you,â€ Cristal says at the end. Remember how Nomi started out in the stripclub before getting discovered, stripping to Prince's â€œ319â€? Now take note how Cristal, no longer the dancing goddess she used to be, is now in hospital room 319. Cristal has dropped back down to where she was before she got big, just as Nomi would soon afterward had she not taken off. Isn't it also amazing to note that when Nomi first gets to Vegas, it's Halloween, and when she hits big as the goddess dancer, it's Christmas?
The way director Paul Verhoeven makes it entirely obvious that the film is satirical on Hollywood's sexual underbelly. What better way to celebrate this than by making the film almost cartoonish in terms of dialogue, but completely colorful, fantastic and superb (even those who dislike the film admit that its a very well-made film with its editing, photography, etc.) in technical terms?
Also take note how the film always has men being dirty, horny bastards and the women always being servants to their needs. Notice the way one of the film's characters, a fellow stripper, sleeps with a guy who promises to make her big in the business. Notice how she never gets anywhere? Now look how Verhoeven studies the way Nomi sleeps with Kyle MacLachlan's character and she hits it big. It's always about sleeping with the right people, isn't it?
Which goes back to a line said earlier in the film: â€œIn America, everyone's a gynecologist.â€ If you don't get that, and how it connects to the violent and depressing rape scene towards the end of the film, then there's something wrong with you. The fact that the rapist is the character's favorite celebrity is also a big hint. Take note to that and think back on everything else. It makes so much more sense.
Seriously, one underrated film. Glad, though, it hasn't been forgotten, even if for the wrong reasons. If you think about it, the fact that it's remembered as the go-to film for guys to get their eyes looking at loads of boobs is quite ironic to Verhoeven's point with the film in which all the men see nothing more of the women then sex objects.
I love the way Verhoeven casts Elizabeth Berkley in the lead role. Even if it wasn't intentional, isn't it especially great to note that Berkley played a women's rights activist / good girl on that show and then went onto playing a bipolar character who is treated cruelly under the ways of powerful and/or controlling chauvenists in order to get what she wants?
In the end, not much else I have to say. Just felt like getting this rant out.