Pop Culture Blind Spot: Flashdance

Despite being alive in the late 1980s, there are a bunch of movies from this decade that I am totally blind to – Dirty Dancing, Ghost, Top Gun, all of which I’ve since seen. Flashdance is one of them.

This movie was released on April 15, 1983, which makes it nearly 33 years old and three years older than me, so this should be a nice FLASHback to the 80s. Although since we’re deep into Cheers, it shouldn’t be that much of a shock.

Knowledge of this film:

Not Jennifer Grey but rather Jennifer Beals is a dancer and she pours a bucket of water on her person. Also, that What a Feeling song.

Actual IMDb description:

A Pittsburgh woman with two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer wants to get into ballet school.

SHE’S A STRIPPER?!?!?!?! WHO WANTS TO GET INTO BALLET SCHOOL?? LIT’RALLY NO IDEA.

The title scrolls across the screen like a screensaver from Windows 95. There was a similar title card in The Bodyguard, was this just a thing then??

So Jennifer Beals a legit welder? In the 80s was this a common job for women? Or was it just in Pittsburgh because… steel?

If Irene Cara’s What a Feeling *now I’m dancing for my life* music wasn’t playing throughout these opening credits I would think this is a horror movie with all the shots of coal and people welding in the dark.

Ok, Jennifer Beals is a stripper but have any of her male co-workers been to her strip club because I feel like that would be an awkward conversation the next morning in the locker room.

Ah yes, the iconic water scene. She’s actually a good dancer. Especially since she’s dancing on water. I would’ve broken half my bones at this point.

Oh is she an exotic dancer in who doesn’t strip?

Well the guy who just walked in knows her social security number and tells his pal that she works for him. So there’s that.

Richie, the cook at the bar/strip club, wants to get out of Pittsburgh and move to Los Angeles, but a guy (who I’m assuming is the big boss) tells him, “They don’t let short people into Hollywood.” I CAN BUST THIS MYTH RIGHT NOW.

“This place is so small you have to go outside to change your mind.” – Richie, A short-order cook who’s definitely going to make it as a comic in LA.

Nick looks like a typical “hunk” from the 1980s. Like Tom Selleck or Dustin Diamond.

She’s holding a Pepsi that is an old school metal can and besides the big hair it’s one of the props that makes it obvious it’s the 1980s.

She’s a Maniac is from this movie? What is this weird lunging she’s doing? I’ve obviously seen this running in place move but she’s not even dancing she’s doing weird warm-ups.

Jennifer Beals – do we even know her character’s name yet it’s Alex – enters a dance school where the hallways are lined with leotard and tight-wearing ballet dancers and it’s like Save the Last Dance all over again.

Is this secretary related to Meryl Streep?

Tom Selleck is hitting on Jennifer Beals and just wants to get a snack with her. Get a freaking snack with him Alex.

Alex has a QT old grandma.

She also has a priest she goes to to confess. Gotta get that coveted Catholic demographic in the theater.

Some dude who’s trying to get people to watch the exotic dancers just used the word “cunts”, so he is problematic.

There is a workout montage set to the tune of I Love Rock and Roll and it is the MOST 80s thing I’ve seen.

There are two pop-locking/breakdancing kids (?) in the street and they are my favorites so far.

I realized there have been two dancing scenes sans dialogue (a skating rink and crossing guard) in a row and I think it’s because Alex is attempting to pick up new dance moves from the literal streets? IS THIS NOT SAVE THE LAST DANCE?

Richie is doing his stand-up act at the bar and no one is laughing. BLESS. The joke that makes everyone laugh: “I’m just a cook. This is my big break. If you don’t laugh then I’m gonna put cockroaches in your hamburgers!”

But really, this club is not a strip club no one has gotten naked. Do these clubs still exist? It’s like Chippendales but more clothes (remind me to tell you about my recent experience at Chippendales).

The dude with the offensive language, whose name is apparently Johnny, tries to grab Alex and get her to go with him to “drink wine and smoke some weed” and I hate him. He also beat up Richie, so he’s the worst.

Nick Selleck comes out of the literal shadows to save Alex and instead of getting a ride home from him, she decides to bike home in the dark. Come on Alex, Selleck isn’t going to do anything to you (he drives behind her the whole time for safety).

Alex has a friend named Jeanie who is a competitive ice skater and it makes me yearn for the Olympics/The Cutting Edge movie. JEANIE FELL. SHE FELL AGAIN. THOSE DAMN TRIPLE AXELS. Her dreams are shattered.

Alex and Nick are on a date and she takes him back to her place (an old warehouse?) to eat pizza. BOW CHICKA WOW WOW.

She changed into a sweatshirt and took off her bra in front of him. This is their first date. And it doesn’t matter because they slept together. Their next date is literally walking down a railroad track which leads to a landfill of steel. Guys, just because you work as welders doesn’t mean you have to make your dates themed as such too.

WHAT IN THE FRESH HELL IS THIS I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING IT’S LIKE A 1980S GEISHA DURING A DREAM SEQUENCE OF HOW PEOPLE FROM THE 80S PICTURED THE FUTURE. OMG LITERALLY THIS SONG IS CALLED IMAGINATION AND HAS THE WORDS “FANTASY” IN IT

“Do you know how to do the horizontal mambo” Asshole dude GTFO

Whooaaa Alex just threw stones through Nick’s window in anger but I missed why she is so upset.

Richie is leaving for LA to go for his dreams as a stand-up coming and I am truly sad to see him go but happy he’s

Oh Alex saw Nick with some blonde chick at a dance benefit, who turned out to be his ex-wife.

“I broke your fucking window!… Go fuck your blonde!” I LOVE ALEX

LOL at all the other welders cheering them on from the peanut gallery

Yo Alex is serving in this tuxedo look.

Nick’s ex-wife LOL she looks like a Scandinavian socialite.

What’s happening here? Is it Halloween? It’s Halloween. There’s a free for all on the stage.

Alex applied for an audition to the dance conservatory and she got in!

Alex realizes Nick made a phone call to get her the audition, which she obviously didn’t want because she is a strong, independent lady of the 1980s who doesn’t need any GD help from any man.

Oh finally a strip club with actual stripping. It’s like everyone hates their lives here. Apparently Jeannie ditched being an ice skater and decided to only be a real stripper.

HAHA Alex straight up pulls Jeannie from the stage as she’s stripping. AND Asshole guy comes out of nowhere to tell her to not take Jeannie away and Alex pushes him away. It is great.

“When you give up on a dream, you die.” Nick Selleck says to Alex, and Alex realizing she could end up like Jeannie as a real stripper all at the same time.

Is QT grandma not actually her grandma? Alex is calling her Hanna. OMG SHE DIED. YESTERDAY. NOOOOOO

But NOW I bet Alex is going to use her pain and suffering to follow through on her promise to QT grandma Hanna to get into the dance school.

In full disclosure, I’m getting hungry and there are 20 minutes left of this movie and I can barely pay attention.

But Alex is back in the Priest’s confessional and crying? She’s sinned, obvs.

Alex is back in her black leotard from when she was lunging for this audition, and  I’m really wondering why type of dance she’s qualifying this as. She’s literally gliding by the judges’ table and pointing at each of them hahahaha Yup, she’s incorporating breakdancing in this audition. And apparently she got in because the next scene was see is her running outside to meet Nick and she’s super happy about it.

So that was fine, I guess. I’d say don’t waste your time on it?

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