What in the world is “Flashdance” even about? I mean, ostensibly it’s about Jennifer Beals as Alex, a fiery, take-no-prisoners ballbuster who works as a welder by day (uh huh…) and moonlights as a stripper in a strip club that apparently specializes in artsy, non-nude strip shows (?), on her way to pursuing acceptance into a prestigious dance school, and that’s about it. There’s no motivation behind the character other than she wants to become a dancer but works as a stripper, and if that sounds familiar, then it won’t be surprise you to discover that Joe Eszterhas wrote the wafer-thin, barely-there screenplay that shares more than a few similarities with his own execrable script for the camp mega-classic “Showgirls”: Like Elizabeth Berkley’s Nomi, Alex is prone to off-putting non-sequiturs that the Eszterhas cringingly tries to pass off as sexy and flippant (“It sucks,” says Alex, but Nomi prefers “It doesn’t suck”), there’s an allegedly seductive dinner scene that’s just plain gross (in “Showgirls,” it’s Doggy Chow, here, it’s Alex slurping on lobster with her mouth open), while his stubborn, aggressive ignorance about women basically define both projects. Throw in the fact that Beals famously didn’t even perform the climactic dance audition herself (with an embarrassingly obvious body double) and what you end up with is a deeply shallow waste of time. It’s not a movie as much as it’s misogynistic creep’s wet dream that somehow yielded him fame and fortune despite no discernible talent, and his success following this lazy, sexist fantasy is an indictment of the entire Hollywood film industry.
Rating: ★★ (out of 5)