One of the movie channels we get in our cable package has been running Flashdance this past week. This was one of my most-loathed movies of the 80’s, but given my latent appreciation of Jennifer Beals, I figured it was worth re-watching.
WRONG. Even the lovely Ms. Beals couldn’t save this dud.
All the things that bugged me about it 23 years ago were even more magnified this time around. First off, we’re supposed to believe that an 18-year-old girl is a licensed welder. Right. And then after putting in a full day at the steel mill, she has the energy to perform as a highly choreographed exotic dancer at a local bar until all hours of the morning? Of course!
Naturally she has to stay in shape to keep up such a hectic dual-career work schedule … so we see her working out in the gym with her girlfriends and riding her bicycle all over Pittsburgh (which miraculously is always right where she leaves it even though she never locks it up).
Still, she manages to find time to visit an elderly mentor and schtupp her boss (from the welding job) on a regular basis, as well as go to confession at her local Catholic church. “Alex” lives in a large renovated warehouse apartment…which she can surely afford given her double income as a welder/exotic dancer … and she has a really ugly dog that she must pay someone to walk because clearly her schedule doesn’t really allow for proper pet care.
I remember there was a big controversy when it was revealed that Jennifer Beals didn’t do any of the dancing in the film, which is amazing considering how obvious the cut-aways to the dance doubles are … the editing is okay but the body types and varying hair lengths really give it away.
Basically I still have NO IDEA why this movie was such a huge hit in 1983.
But I can tell you without a doubt that Jennifer Beals is WAY hotter today at 40-something than she was as the college freshman who was cast in “Flashdunce.” And there’s something very gratifying about that.