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.