When Goldie Hawn recommended Elizabeth Berkley for a small role in First Wives Club
, she publicly stated that Berkley deserved the opportunity to redeem herself after starring in the ridiculous Showgirls
. That says it all: this sleazy, stupid movie, which mixes soft pornography with the clichés of backstage dramas, is the kind of project an aspiring actress would have to put well behind her to keep a career going (though costar Gina Gershon certainly benefited from her, uh, exposure in the film). Berkley plays a drifter who hitches a ride to Las Vegas, becomes a lap dancer and then a performer, and discovers--gasp!
--there's a whole world of sex and violence involved with these things. Gershon is probably the best element in the film, playing Berkley's bisexual rival for the big spotlight on stage. Joe Eszterhas was well overpaid for writing this howler, and director Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct
) should have known better than to take it seriously. --Tom Keogh