Thursday, June 3, 2021

freakboy on film: FLASHDANCE (1983)

(screenplay by Thomas Hedley, Jr. & Joe Eszterhas / directed byAdrian Lyne 

As I’ve mentioned before, there are gaps in my 1980’s film experience.  I was either too young to watch (unlikely since I saw PORKY’S at a very impressionable age) or I just didn’t care because the film sounded boring.  Well, better late than never to fill in the gaps. 

I was excited when Prime Video recommended FLASHDANCE to me.  After seeing FOOTLOOSE for the first time last year, experiencing another 80’s one word F-film about dancing seemed like total synchronism.  I vaguely remember the hubbub about FLASHDANCE back in the day and of course I know the iconic bucket of water scene, which shockingly happens very early on in the film.  So, I was expecting a tawdry, nudie story of a young woman wanting to be a stripper.  What I experienced was a bit different. 


Alex is a welder by day and a flashdancer by night, but all she wants is to dance in a ballet troupe.  That’s it.  That’s the plot in a neon nutshell.  Well, there is a subplot about her ice-skater friend dating a wannabe stand-up comedian whose schtick is telling bigoted jokes.  Oh, and I better not forget Alex’s boss at the welding factory.    Nick doesn’t know she exists until he sees her dancing one night. (such a gentleman They fall in love or lust or something and he saves the day (ugh) more than once.  I will give Nick this, he never tells Alex to stop flashdancing at the bar, even when they start dating.  

What is a Flashdance?  It seems to be a mixture of stripping, exotic dancing and performance art.  I’m honestly not sure what straight men or queer women get out of it.  The costumes are skimpy, but i didn’t notice any nudity.  Though my half-blind eyes might have missed something during the hyper-gyration.  Speaking of which, the dancers danced like they had been popping powerful uppers.  I kept asking the screen, “Is this supposed to be sexy?”  It must be since the bar was always packed. 


I guess the acting is fine.  It’s hard to tell.  Jennifer Beals as Alex seems to be acting in different films depending on the scene.  She is either dancing, screaming or playing footsie with Nick’s crotch at a fancy restaurant.  Michael Nouri as Nick, and his crotch, is present for his scenes but gives the boss no discernible personality.  The rest of the cast is pretty forgettable, but at least the music is good.  


I think it’s time for a 21st Century remake of FLASHDANCE.  They can drop the men and focus on Alex and her ice-skater friend pursuing their dreams in a competitive world.  Of course they would succeed because they are the best and would fall in love with each other by the end.  Paired with my idea of a FOOTLOOSE remake, they would make a great Pride Month drive-in double feature.  

In conclusion, FLASHDANCE commits the cardinal sin of 1980’s films by being boring.  Honestly, I would rather watch FOOTLOOSE again because at least it revels in its nonsense.  However, if you want to see frantic dancing, especially the TV/strobe light sequence, FOOTLOOSE may be the film for you. 

Freak Out, 


P.S.  My FOOTLOOSE post...


June’s Collective Eye interview is on the always entertaining entertainment blog REALWEEGIEMIDGET REVIEWS...





  1. It's been ages since I've seen this, but if I recall correctly, it didn't make much of an impression on adolescent me. Based on your assessment, there's probably no worthwhile reason to re-watch this. I do like your idea for a remake, however. Fun review, John! :)

    1. Thank you, Barry!
      You're right, there's no good reason to watch it again.
      Honestly, I'll probably eventually forget I had seen it, but unfortunately this post will be proof that I did. LOL

  2. As I recall, the marketing for Flashdance was all about the promise of titillation with no real payoff. Yes, the film was boring and the love interest forced. As for the acting, Andrew has an old joke he likes to repeat: Jennifer Beals had a stand-in for her dancing, and her singing, and her acting. 😂

    I'm totally on-board with your Flashdance reboot. Great article...but I'm still waiting on your bucket dance.

    1. Andrew has got it right! LOL

      Keep waiting for the bucket dance, Michael. My reboot idea is more likely to happen. 😉