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Striptease is a 1996 American erotic black comedy film written and directed by Andrew Bergman, produced by him and Mike Lobell and starring Demi Moore, Armand Assante, Ving Rhames, Robert Patrick and Burt Reynolds. Based on Carl Hiaasen's novel of the same name, the film centers on an FBI secretary-turned-stripper who becomes involved in both a child-custody dispute and corrupt politics.
Former FBI secretary Erin Grant (Demi Moore) loses custody of her young daughter Angela (Rumer Willis) to her ex-husband Darrell (Robert Patrick), a criminal who cost Erin her job. To afford an appeal to get her daughter back, Erin becomes a stripper at the Eager Beaver, a strip club in Miami. A Congressman named David Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds) visits the club and becomes infatuated with Erin. Aware of Dilbeck's embarrassing indulgences, another Eager Beaver patron approaches Erin with a plan to manipulate the congressman to settle the custody battle and help her get Angela back. However, Dilbeck has powerful business connections who want to ensure he remains in office. Consequently, those who can embarrass him in an election are murdered. Meanwhile, Erin retrieves her daughter from Darrell's negligent care. Dilbeck's personal interest in Erin persists, and she is invited to perform privately for him. He asks her to become his lover and later his wife, despite his staff's concerns that she knows too much. A debate occurs as to whether to kill Erin or simply keep her quiet by threatening to take away her daughter. However, Erin and a police officer, Al Garcia (Armand Assante), begin to suspect the congressman's guilt in the murders, and Erin concocts a plan to bring the congressman to justice. She tricks him into confessing on tape, and he is soon after arrested. Thus, Erin regains full custody of Angela, quits stripping and gets back her job in the FBI. Darrell returns to prison after he is convicted of his crimes.
Why It Got People Into Trouble No Matter What They Wear
- Very poor acting, which wastes the talents of mostly Demi Moore.
- Lots of unlikeable characters, especially the main character herself, Erin Grant.
- The story is lame, as nothing really develops in the movie.
- Erin lies claiming that she is Barbara Bush in one scene.
- False advertising: The poster shows the main character, Erin Grant being naked while in some scenes of the movie, she's barely wearing bikinis!
- Angela Grant (while still a likeable character movie) thinks she can see her mother dance in a stripping club. She's too young to be going to a stripping club!!!
- Many scenes serve no reason to be in the movie, other than to needlessly pad out the runtime.
- It made no sense how Erin Grant would be a mom without a job.
- Out of place, blatant, and shameless product placement like 7-Eleven and Vaseline.
- The scene where the congressman is wearing rodeo clothes feels like he is wearing a plastic-looking vest and stretchy plastic-looking shorts.
- For some reason, all of the characters accept Erin Grant and love her, even though she is an idiot.
- The film's attempts at representing Miami are really laughable.
- Weak and lazy supporting characters that you won't be able to sympathize with.
- Needless hard slapping scenes.
- If Erin quitted being a stripper, then why does she get her FBI job back after getting fired from the Miami police a long time ago?
- The sex scenes are extremely laughable and make way for unintentional comedy to the point where they are not even arousing at all.
- The dialogue is sometimes laughable.
- Decent music.
- Angela Grant is a likeable character from the movie.
- The film is so bad, it's actually pretty memorable to watch.
- Some funny moments here, there and wherever.
- Erin needed to learn to start living a normal life.
- This movie had a great unrated and uncut international version.
Striptease holds a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 71 reviews, with an average score of 3.9/10. The critical consensus reads, "Striptease can't decide whether it is a lurid thriller or a sexy satire - which becomes a moot point as it proves disastrously incapable of pulling either off." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times complimented some of the characters, but ultimately concluded the film failed because "all of the characters are hilarious except for Demi Moore's." He felt the drama surrounding the main character "throws a wetblanket over the rest of the party." Ebert also found the nudity not too sexy. Leonard Maltin was harsher, writing in his book that the film was too depressing, and "Not funny enough, or dramatic enough, or sexy enough, or bad enough, to qualify as entertainment in any category." Barbara Cramer concurred with Ebert that Moore's character was written too dramatically, compared to other characters. She said the film was predictable and would appeal mostly to "post-pubescent schoolboys or closet voyeurs." However, Cramer also cited Reynolds' "best role in years," and said Rhames was "worth the price of admission."
Brian D. Johnson of Maclean's, who thought Moore's acting was terrible, predicted that despite Moore's financial success, her career depended on the success of this film and the film was "tacky, pretentious-and boring." This critic described Striptease as displaying Moore's vanity. Dave Ansen of Newsweek, sharing Ebert's view on Moore's character, also claimed Striptease failed as a drama because it had no mystery, revealing the identity of its villains early. Moreover, the "damsel-in-distress angle generates zero tension." Daniel P. Franklin, in his book Politics and Film: The Political Culture of Film in the United States went so far as to call Striptease "the worst film ever made" and stated "The film pays homage to Moore's surgical breast enhancement". Nathan Rabin, reviewing the film for his series "My Year of Flops", described the film thus: "Moore's dour lead performance sabotages the film from the get-go. It's as if director Andrew Bergman told Moore she was acting in a serious drama about a struggling single mother...and then told everyone else in the cast that they were making a zany crime comedy filled with kooky characters, sleazy hustlers, dumbass opportunists, and outsized caricatures."
Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "B-" on scale of A+ to F.
The film received seven Golden Raspberry nominations and won six. The only category the film lost was Worst Supporting Actor for Burt Reynolds, which went to Marlon Brando for The Island of Dr. Moreau. In winning the Worst Picture Razzie, Striptease defeated The Island of Dr. Moreau, Barb Wire, The Stupids, and Ed. The film also received three Stinkers Bad Movie nominations; its only win was for Worst Picture in which it defeated Independence Day, Jack, The Stupids, and Twister.
Striptease made $12,322,069 in its first weekend, behind The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy, Eraser starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, in which Moore voiced one of the main characters.Ultimately, Striptease made $33,109,743 in the United States, and domestically it was the 47th highest-grossing film of 1996. It made $113,309,743 internationally, having grossed £2,104,480 in the UK and ¥102,419,500 in Japan.
"That movie did better than almost anything I've been involved with," said Bergman. "All the subsidiary stuff was gigantic. People said, 'I wouldn't be caught dead seeing it,'’ and suddenly when it's available in a rental store, it's 'I'll get Schindler's List and Striptease. [laughs] It's like when you're a kid and you're buying condoms at a drug store, but you buy 12 tubes of toothpaste, too."
When the movie was first released on VHS, it was distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (formerly Columbia TriStar Home Video) on May 27, 1997. On the DVD release, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (formerly Warner Home Video) owned the rights to the movie on April 3, 2001 due to the fact that it's being released by Castle Rock entertainment.