Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ask Showgirls (Or, Are You There, Elizabeth? It's Me, Nomi)

My friend Patty's birthday was a couple of weeks ago. In celebration of said event, I decided to get Patty a copy of Ask Elizabeth, famed Showgirls star Elizabeth Berkley's hit book for teenage girls.

Yes, I know.

The first person you'd think would write an advice book for teenage girls is a woman who starred in the Citizen Kane of sexploitation films. OK, maybe Showgirls isn't the Citizen Kane of sexploitation...but it might be its Magnificent Ambersons.

Ask Elizabeth
is, to quote the book's subtitle, "Real answers to everything you secretly wanted to ask about love, friends, your body...and life in general."

Patty is not a teenage girl.

Patty is, however, a deeply committed fan of Showgirls.

Given the nature of such a book, I couldn't resist. It's not the subject matter that drew me in. Oh, no. It's the faint hope that Elizabeth would eschew earnest advice and answer semi-to-hardcore NC-17 questions a la her alter ego Showgirl Nomi Malone:

Dear Elizabeth/Nomi,

How do you have an orgasm like you're a short-circuiting robot in a swimming pool?

Love, Hopeful RoboBimbo


Dear Elizabeth/Nomi

How do you get that 'whorish' look on your nails?

Love, Keep On Pressin' On

If Nomi's voice wasn't given airtime in the book, I figured maybe she would answer questions from young girls seeking fame and fortune in Hollywood:

Dear Elizabeth,

If you have a flat ass, how do you handle nude scenes?

Love, Two Saltines Out Back


Dear Elizabeth,

If you realize your starring vehicle is going to get laughs rather than Oscars, shouldn't you work it like a drag queen? It worked for Gina Gershon. Let me know!

Love, Cristal Connors II

Of course, the book has answers to none of these important questions. That didn't stop me from hunting the thing down like a high priest of camp, scouring the teen readers sections of multiple Barnes & Nobles for this sacred ritual text. I nearly gave up after a surly Customer Service clerk wearing a pin that announced "I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER" rolled her eyes at my request and sent me deep into the bowels of the store. Looking over tables and tables of Twilight merchandise, I began to lose hope. Finally, a male clerk recognized my despondency and asked me if I needed help. I went through the same "I need 'Ask Elizabeth'!" desperation speech and his eyes lit up.

She knew exactly where it was.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Fever for the Beaver (Or, Marquee Dreams)

When I first saw a trailer for Jodie Foster's new film The Beaver, I really and truly hoped that she chose the title in the spirit of intentional camp, like John Waters did for his film Pecker. Waters developed Pecker around the title, as he was obsessed with seeing the following on a movie marquee:


Alas, Ms. Foster seems to have been earnest in her titling. She wasn't aiming for the movie marquee genius of NOW SHOWING JODIE FOSTER'S BEAVER. Oh, well.

But now that Foster's The Beaver is a classified box office bomb, there are some truly titilating headlines that I wish would appear on a newsstand/browser/mobile device/tablet near me. Here are just a you can see, the jokes are easy, breezy, and plentiful (well, either that or I need to be an intern for the Daily News' copy desk):

Jodie Foster's Beaver Stinks
Jodie Foster's Beaver Fails to Find an Audience
No One Wants to See Jodie's Beaver
Jodie Foster's Beaver Keeps Them Away
Foster's Beaver Can't Make Money
Foster's Beaver Has No Legs
Public Ignores Foster's Beaver
Critics Hard on Foster's Beaver
Foster's Beaver Uninteresting to Men, Women, Children

And my favorite...

Jodie Foster's Beaver: Not a Big Opening

Sorry, Jode. Loved your bitchery in Inside Man and I still imitate the rescue scene in Silence of the Lambs on a weekly basis.