|Genres||Drama, Music, Romance|
|Starring||Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Lilia Skala|
|Directed by||Adrian Lyne|
|Release info||15 April 1983|
Movies that contain ambitious young characters are always an easy sell. People who are drawn to having a glamorous career in the entertainment industry, but are stuck in dead end jobs can easily relate to the characters in Flashdance. Tom Hedley did a good job of portraying people in different stages in their career, from the starry eyed amateurs with many hopes and dreams to the jaded veterans with no passion left for their occupation.
Hedley also revealed the ugly truth about how many people succeed in the entertainment industry. For example, Richie the comedian/cook comes back from Los Angeles with no professional comedian title; Jeannie the waitress/figure skater gives up skating after a failed performance in a competition. Alex, the welder/dancer gets into the Pittsburgh school of ballet, which is the one success in the movie. Those who have been trying to break into the entertainment industry are aware of this reality, and it is unfortunate.
There is a light side to Flashdance in the main plot. Alex, the protagonist is a hard working, ambitious girl with a passion for dance. The equation works out well: Alex works hard; Alex gets the guy; Alex is a good person, and therefore good things happen to her. She is at the threshold of becoming a woman. Many women, young and old can see themselves at age 18 through Alex in this movie. The script, direction and acting succeeded in making this character a believable young woman.
The one thing that I was a bit bothered by is that editing certainly occurred to adhere to time constraints. There are quite a few scenes that could benefit from some elaboration. Actually, if 5 more minutes of dialogue and/or action could be added to each scene, the movie would be more enjoyable. I was in love with all the characters, all of the plot lines intrigued me, I’m sure that a more thorough development of the scene wouldn’t have hurt anybody.
A good history lesson when watching a movie from the 80’s is how certain things have evolved. An example is the “Maniac” scene in Flashdance. One who works out in this century knows that bouncy stretches are a big no-no, and drinking Pepsi after a workout may taste good, but it will not hydrate. It’s frightening to watch, but this was perfectly acceptable in 1983, so it’s more like an interesting flash from the past. Another evolution is that of dance style from the 80’s to 2009. The break dance scene shows what was cool back then, and what has stayed through to the present.
Flashdance was a very entertaining hour and a half for me; whenever I feel like I’ve lost touch with my youthful, ambitious self, I turn to this movie for the pick-me-up.