A look at the seedy and sometimes geeky underworld of cinema
Monday, October 11, 2010
What Jessie Spano Did On Her Summer Vacation
It's every teen idol's worst nightmare, being stereotyped and forced to play the same tired role for all eternity. All a male actor has to do is take a serious role as a drug dealer or cop and all is forgiven. A female actress unfortunately has to go slutty to get that same respect. Alyssa did it, Drew did it, but Elizabeth Berkeley took it one step forward. After Showgirls, people not only forgot Saved By The Bell, they forgot about Elizabeth as well.
Elizabeth plays Nomi Malone (No Me I'm Alone) a dancer with a dream. The movie opens up with her hitchhiking to Vegas. She is promptly picked up a guy who is already mentally preparing his Dear Penthouse letter. Nomi dashes those hopes with a switchblade and even insults his choice of music in the same breath.
Nomi's so-called street smarts evaporate when he claims that his uncle is a big muckedty muck at casino who can get her her dream job. She leaves her suitcase in his truck and goes off to gamble while he makes her dreams come true. She realizes soon enough that she has been scammed.
Nomi must have the most awesome suitcase ever. A guy gave her ten dollars in order to distract her in order to steal it. Nomi becomes unhinged and starts beating up the car next to her. The car's owner, Arlene, tries to stop her. Nomi promptly gets sick and then tries to throw herself in traffic. Seriously, what is in that suitcase.
Arlene sees this emotionally unstable drifter and thinks only one thing, perfect roommate material. Within weeks, they are super best friends. Nomi's a dancer at a sleazy strip club and Arlene works for a casino as a costume designer. Nomi attends one of the shows and meets Cristal (Gina Gershon) who insults Nomi's work. She promptly runs out and whales on Arlene's car again. That poor abused car.
She blows off work to go dancing in a club. When I say dancing, I mean something that's a cross between the Robot and the Macarena with some jazz hands for flair. Some dude named James tries to pick her up earning him a kick in the danger zone. Despite that, he still bails her out after she gets arrested.
Cristal shows up at the club with her agent/manager (Kyle MacLachlan) Zack in tow. She forces Nomi to give Zack a private dance with a happy ending. This scene is disturbing for me because essentially I am watching Jessie Spano give a lap dance to Orson Hodge. Cristal gives her the money implying, yet again, that's she's a whore. Well if it looks like a duck and acts like a duck.....
So the movie goes into a long boring 45 minutes consisting of Nomi slowly slutting her way to the top, James telling Nomi not to sell out before he then sells out, an epileptic love scene in a swimming pool and finally Cristal and Nomi's creepy love/hate relationship.
Nomi finally shoves Cristal down a flight of stairs and takes her place as the headliner of the show. Arlene is disgusted on how low her friend has stooped. She begs Arlene to forgive her and attend her premiere party. Arlene hooks up with her favorite rock star who like everyone else in this film (including the script writer and director) turns out to be a sadistic pervert. He puts Arlene in the hospital.
Of course, since the rock star is also a headliner, he is being protected by Zack. Zack plans to pay off Arlene and then tells Nomi that he knows that she used to be a hooker. There were about a half dozen scenes in this film where someone implies that she's a hooker and she gets offended. What was the point? Were they trying to make Nomi look less trashy in the film? If so, they failed.
Nomi won't allow that and exerts her own brand of slut justice on the rock star. She heads to the hospital to bid goodbye to Cristal and Arlen before hitchhiking off into the sunset. And you'll never guess who picks her up, yes the same sleazebag from the start of the films.
His trucks ricochets off to Hollywood as a knife happy Nomi demands to know where her special suitcase is.
Sorry for the month of blog silence. The boyfriend and I have decided to sell our house and move from Cali to Washington. No one told me that the act of selling a house can be so time consuming. But I'm back and there will be more entries to follow.