Paramount Presents: Flashdance
review by Drusilla Blakey
Paramount has a long history with some iconic films in their vast library. Now they are digging into that library and offering up a new selection of releases in their Paramount Presents collection. The latest getting the treatment is the 1983 film Flashdance starring Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, and Cynthia Rhodes from Fatal Attraction and 9 ½ Weeks director Adrian Lynne.
Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals who most may know now from The L Word) works a day job as a welder in a steel mill and dances in a club at night. Dance is her real passion and she's doing all she can to be accepted to dance at an audition at a prestigious dance academy. Alex soon starts dating her boss, Nick Hurley, her best friend starts stripping, her mentor Hanna dies, and Alex has to deal with all this along with her own self-doubt to fight her way to 'take her passion and make it happen'!
I remember seeing this movie several times when I was younger and was interested to see it again with fresh eyes. Would I like it or not? I didn't really have any feeling one way or another as I sat down to watch the film. I think I mostly remembered the iconic scenes and music of the film, more than the film itself.
So sitting down to watch this I was focused and ready. I must say, overall, it's just ok. The acting, story, etc are not that original or compelling. Some of the
dance scenes are flat out weird to me, but the ones that everyone knows (her working out at home, that even J Lo made into a video; the water splashing that showed up as a parody in Shrek; her audition) are great! I think I also appreciate the scenes with Cynthia Rhodes as she is one of my favorites from way back...and it's so sad that she gave up her career when she got married...but say la vie.
Looking at it now and looking up a few facts, I think there are more things I don't like than what I do. Mainly, the fact that Jennifer Beals didn't do any of the dancing herself is kind of a bummer. I know, I know...but nowadays actors try to do a lot more themselves. They have learned to dance, sing, play the piano but she didn't do the dancing - slightly disappointing. What makes it worse is that there are several times you can tell it's not her...bad wigs people, bad wigs. I also don't like, and point this out a lot as it's an ongoing issue in Hollywood, but the age difference of our main characters is a bit gross. He could be her dad...come on - ew.
On the positive side of things, Jennifer Beals is so beautiful in this film.
She's very young but has a great amount of poise and talent that shines through. I also like that this movie is super 80s. It's a tiny bit dated but I think we're to the point where it's coming back in style. The iconic scenes are simply that - iconic. So this really is a must see movie. There are so many cultural references that you are missing out on if you haven't seen this so please make time to catch 'that feeling' and check it out. It really will lift you up and inspire you to follow your dreams!
Grab your copy of Flashdance Collector’s Edition available now on Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment.