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Review: Go Go Tales

Go Go Tales
6 10

Directed by: Abel Ferrara
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Bob Hoskins, Asia Argento...

PLOT: A screwball comedy about a lively, classy, Manhattan go go cabaret run by a passionate impresario Ray Ruby who is reluctant to face the reality of an imminent foreclosure threatening the existence of his Paradise. With the assistance of an animated staff, he remains hopeful and determined to persevere despite every indication of inevitable failure. Rayís denial is reinforced with a devised plan to win a lottery ticket that will magically emancipate his famous nudie bar.

CRITIQUE: Willem Dafoe is Ray; the charming, vibrant, idealist, who entertains New York with a glamorous and vivacious opening act night after night while introducing some of the sexiest, most beautiful and voluptuous multi cultural women on Paradiseís stage. He is flamboyant, exuberant and driven by his resolution to stay in business regardless of every problem threatening the very existence of Paradise . His brother Johnie (Matthew Modine) decides he wants out, pole dancers request their pay, a dancer becomes pregnant and landlord Lillian (Sylvia Miles) demands her four months rent. Oblivious and optimistic, Ray is adamant to stay afloat until his idea for a fixed lottery ticket comes to fruition.

Dafoe is brilliantly amusing and entertaining as the charismatic dreamer Ray. His character is complimented with a supporting cast of hilarious, dynamic actors like Bob Hoskins who plays the clubís Maitre dí, Modine as his refined brother, Sylvia Miles as the outrageous, loud-mouthed landlady, and Pras Michel who plays the gourmet hot dog frying chef. Among the many beautiful, skin exposing, talented strippers is Asia Argento, whose interaction with her dog and Modine are scene stealing. There are several other characters played by the large ensemble cast who provide perfect comedic timing and dark innuendos in this surprisingly funny script. However, regardless of its humor, the plot doesnít quite make sense. The story is all over the place and at times difficult to follow.

With past films such as BAD LIEUTENANT, THE ADDICTION and DANGEROUS GAME, director Ferrara presents unique angles and frames to shoot within the go go cabaret. Vibrant colors enlivened as he focuses on the stage, womenís sensual bodies, and angular office shots. There are also many scenes alternatively filming from the security cameras for a genuine strip club feel. The film is visually enticing and stimulating. Every angle enhances the comedic value of each scene. However, the filmís strength is its visual creativity and animated cast. Donít expect a clear, or interesting script but rather to be entertained with lots of sexy nudity while evoking moments of out-loud laughs. -- 6/10




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