Short Take: Hello, Diana.
I love him and all, but it’s strange that out of the main cast of Indecent Proposal, it’s Woody Harrelson who’s more famous. Well, not really, as Demi Moore is making headlines with her nervous breakdown and Robert Redford has Sundance. The proper phrase for Harrelson might be the one getting the most acting work. To whichever number of you who don’t know, Indecent Proposal‘s conceit is that Redford’s character has to pay a million dollars to bed someone, Diana Murphy (Moore) who leaves him for anybody else, that being her husband David (Harrelson). I wonder what younger generations will think of this already dated movie. If they’ll buy the sex symbol status that I’m old enough to have gotten from him unlike say, Warren Beatty who I never got until I saw Splendor in the Grass.
I saw the ending before watching the movie and as with every movie where I’ve done that, the last scenes are mostly a deal breaker for me. David gives an architecture lecture that reflects his life. Although despite the score and director Adrian Lyne’s many tendencies, it’s sentimental but not as I previously thought. Long process of healing, etc. Supporting cast include Oliver Platt and Billy Connolly, the latter playing himself in a situations when he’s probably been.
We know the classic moments from Flahsdance, about Alex (Jennifer Beals), a Pittsburgh go-go dancer. There’s the sexy dance number with her on stage and water falling down on her. There’s the audition – she falls and asks to start again which would never happen, knowing from all the “So You Think You Can Dance” episodes we’ve seen. What happens in between are slice of life scenes of an independent 18-year-old girl living on her own. We see different aspects of the city, all seemingly separate except for the fact that Alex experiences them all. Those scenes should be interesting to me but somehow they pale compared to the two scenes I mentioned earlier.
There’s also the theatrical lighting used in the film. The dance numbers, Alex’s sister skating, the cook-turned comedian who dreams of LA with jokes that are definitely racist in today’s standards. All of them are silhouettes to the spotlight, looking for the veneration of the people they share Pittsburgh with. Alex isn’t the only middle-American youth with a dream.
It’s also surprising that Jennifer Beals, who in reputation is a full-blooded woman, actually looks young here, and young in a sense of too young. There’s a vulnerability to her small body. Nonetheless, her bike-riding Alex is independent enough, has enough spark and peer support to have fun experiencing this ‘being young in the city’ thing. Nothing can bring her down.