Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)

R   |    |  Drama, Mystery

Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000) Poster

A non-glamorous portrayal of the lives of people who make their living at a strip club.



  • Daryl Hannah in Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)
  • Kristin Bauer on the set of Dancing at the Blue Iguana with Michael Radford.
  • Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)
  • Kristin Bauer on the set of Dancing at the Blue Iguana.
  • Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)
  • Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)

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5 January 2003 | thefan-2
Interesting experiment
I would have thought there aren't many ways to make a serious movie about pole-dancers and be taken seriously. The list of stripper-specific life crises is depressingly short. Anything you present in such a movie, any plot twist or character interaction, could take place just as easily in a diner or a hospital or a homeless shelter or, for that matter, an insurance company. The only reason to set it in a strip club is to show actresses with their clothes off so as to draw in the geeks.

The comedic possibilities are endless, on the other hand. There is a scene in this movie in which Jennifer Tilly's character is having a dominatrix session with some hapless male, and one of the other strippers, drunk and battered, walks in on it and refuses to go away and wait tactfully for the session to be over. Tilly alternates between stridently artificial abuse of her "slave" and sincere concern, mixed with exasperation, for the other woman in the room. It reminded me a little of the scene in Deconstructing Harry where Kirstie Alley, playing a psychiatrist, alternately delivers calm professional platitudes to her patient and screams obscenities at her philandering husband in the next room. The problem with Tilly's scene is that battered woman in the room with her. We aren't allowed to see any comedy in *that*.

So, the movie tries to be taken seriously by being mostly grim and depressing. (Darryl Hannah's character is actually painful to watch.) But all throughout the movie one question kept tugging at my thoughts: "Why is this stripper film different from other stripper films?" The answer came at the start of the closing credits, when it was revealed that the movie was largely (totally?) improvised by the actors. That set me back. It accounted for the eerie feeling I had that I was watching some sort of documentary. The actors and the director deserve a lot of credit for trying something like this. The movie is definitely worth seeing.

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