“Showgirls,” the erotic movie that Hollywood hated, unfairly criticized?


The story behind a film that should have led its protagonist to success. In 1995, Director Paul Verhoeven Decided to rediscover an erotic plot. ,show girlIt was the tape that brought him back to life with screenwriter Joe Esterhaas, with whom he “Low Instincts” in 1992,

with Kyle MacLachlan and Gina Gershon Among the cast, the filmmaker called a casting that included names like Drew Barrymore, Madonna and Sharon Stone. They were present. was given the lead role Elizabeth Berkeley, just 23 years old, who by then had become the star of “Saved by the Bell”.

“Showgirls”, a hated plot

The film brings us to Nomi Malone, a young woman full of dreams, who comes to Las Vegas with the intention of becoming an exotic dancer. As the scenes progress, we see her realize that being a star isn’t easy and she has to start from scratch before she can be recognized. Drugs, jealousy, friendship, love and more will be part of his road to victory.

Although this could be another argument, with a former child star as the protagonist, What “Showgirls” was criticized for was the high sex contentThe one that Verhoeven blew up, And his exaggeration of reality. His scenes prompted Berkeley to take on a load of criticism.

Elizabeth Berkeley rose to fame with her participation in “Saved by the Bell”. Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Maye

“Right now, I can speak as the woman who made a film and gave it everything. Things were different in 1995. I appreciate now that people who once hated it are seeing how the film was put together.” has been revived and called a cult classic,” Elizabeth Berkeley told Collider in 2021.

With the media against them and the box office against them, “Showgirls” did not recover its budget of 45 million. Of course, it won 8 Razzie Awards, including Worst Film of the Decade and Worst Actress.

“When I first read the script, it was a defining moment for me. I thought, ‘This is mine’. It was disappointing that it didn’t do well in theatres, but there was so much brutality going on around it. I was bullied and didn’t understand why I was blamed for the failure. No one came out to say anything around the production, I got outcast in the industry”, Berkeley told People magazine in 2020

“They Accept Weapons, But Not Nudes”

In order to understand the criticism, in 2017, in a panel on feature film organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Paul Verhoeven mentioned aspects that led to his film being called “the worst of the 2000s”.

“I would say the excessive nudity helped. This is a tape where no one is good, there is only one character and he has a sad ending because of his kindness. What happens in Vegas is presented in the most brutal way possible. I always felt the story was extremely negative, where sex equals money,” he shared.

“Showgirls” director Paul Verhoeven. Photo: Film Society of Lincoln Center

Gina Gershon, the actress who gave life to Crystal Conners, also spoke. In this talk, the interpreter said that, when the film was released, it read bad reviews from the press, but internally, reporters told her that they loved her.

“Several journalists who insulted the tape came and told me ‘they liked it’, and I told them why they didn’t put it on days, it was cool, that they liked it and that it was their opinion. If” Showgirls”, so why are they still talking about it after all these years? To me, all the hate behind this movie was always a taboo. In 1995 the public admitted to seeing death and weapons, but naked people not to.”

“Showgirls” actress Gina Gershon. Photo: Film Society of Lincoln Center

The New Life of “Show Girl”

So much has been done from Berkeley, that he was unable to recover his career and in 30 years of work, he only had supporting roles, but as he told People in 2020, “He walked through the fire, he got burned But he’s gone”.

Now, she’s getting ready to return to TV this year with the HBO Max series titled “The Idol,” in which she’ll share roles with Blackpink’s Jenny Kim.

27 years after the premiere of ‘Showgirls’ there will be critics and fans too. With the film reaching platforms like Amazon Prime and Apple TV, its plot has garnered attention and is attracting audiences who see a star in Berkeley who only wanted to grow up. The film is part of a set of history that Hollywood keeps in the background, but it lives on in some way or another in the collective memory. Who will decide whether it is bad or not is the public.

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