I like going to strip clubs not only to see naked women, but also to kinda picture in my head what drove them into a life of stripping. Like Cookie, who strips at Lui’s Canton Inn. While all of the other strippers have needle marks, bruises and are missing teeth; Cookie looks like she could be a secretary or something. I could figure out why most other girls at Lui’s strip for cash (probably to buy drugs, drugs, and more drugs), but I’ve never been able to find out what makes Cookie tick.
Watching Dancing at the Blue Iguana is kinda like going behind the scenes of Lui’s Canton Inn. Except that instead of being populated by a bunch of smacked out strippers (save for Cookie of course), we have Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Tilly and Sandra Oh. Basically we watch the girls strip, then go backstage and see their personal lives unfold. It ain’t great, but at least these girls look a lot better than the girls at Lui’s.
While Dancing at the Blue Iguana isn’t very good, I still think it’s pretty awesome that the dude who directed the Academy Award winning Il Postino made a movie about strippers. Yeah, it’s got a pretentious air about it that you would expect from someone who won the Best Foreign Film Oscar, but it does have some first rate titties in it. He at least did his homework as all of the strippers have authentic sounding names like Angel, Stormy, Desiree, and Jasmine. (For the record, I think there’s been an Angel, Stormy, Desiree and Jasmine dancing at Lui’s at sometime or another.)
Apparently the whole movie was improvised, so that’s why the flick is uneven as all get out. The “plot” don’t really matter too much though as the acting is quite solid. Daryl Hannah is good bubble-headed blonde pole dancer who’s infertile and wants to adopt. The scene where she tries to adopt a kid is priceless. Her credentials to be a good parent are “I can make a good Fluffer Nutter sandwich!” Classic. Usually I can’t stand Sandra (Grey’s Anatomy) Oh, but she shows off her itty bitties in this flick, so she didn’t grate on my nerves too bad. She plays a poetry obsessed stripper which means she’s got to read a bunch of bad poetry and stuff. Like I said though, she gets naked a lot, so I didn’t really mind too much. Jennifer Tilly also gets to show off her stuff in more ways than one. Acting wise, she wigs out at an abortion clinic and tells a woman “My child is going to sell drugs to your child!” Body wise, she gets naked a lot and has a great comic S & M scene too. All the chicks were excellent and rally nailed the deadpan “I wish I was somewhere else” look that all strippers have while dancing.
The problem with the movie though is that it goes on for far too long. (Two friggin’ hours!) Let’s face it; you really only need to be in a strip club for about an hour. I mean you only have so many dollar bills, right? Besides, staying in a strip club for too long gets depressing after awhile. Likewise Dancing at the Blue Iguana is fun for about an hour until it gets depressing. At first it’s fun to watch all these actresses shaking their goodies on stage, but after about an hour or so, you’ll want to just grab a lapdance and sneak out the back.