15 years ago today, 'Showgirls,' a movie about a fame-hungry dancer (Elizabeth Berkley, then known as Jessie Spano from 'Saved by the Bell') determined to make it in Las Vegas, infamously roared into theaters. It was immediately panned for its over-the-top plot, dialogue and lead performance, and most critics, including Roger Ebert, seemed to think it had completely wasted its NC-17 rating.
But since its theatrical release, many people -- myself included -- have come to embrace 'Showgirls' for its so-called bad qualities, to the point where it has become a rare camp classic.
I was only nine years old the year 'Showgirls' came out, so I had to wait until it came to cable to see it, much to my parents' dismay. But to this day, for better or worse, it remains one of the quintessential movie-watching experiences of my life. I can quote nearly every line, from both the unedited and dubbed VH1 versions ("I want my freaking suitcase ... DIRTBAG!"); I can reenact some of the dance moves (which I sadly used to do with my sisters); I sometimes pronounce Versace "Ver-sayce," just for kicks; I've even contemplated changing my diet to brown rice, vegetables and Evian (though, luckily, I've never tried Doggy Chow).
So in honor of 'Showgirls'' 15th birthday, here's a look back at a few of my favorite scenes. (WARNING: Clips are NSFW.)
Oh, the Different Places You'll Go
After getting her suitcase stolen, vomiting in a parking lot and almost getting hit by oncoming traffic, Nomi (Elizabeth Berkley) meets Molly (Gina Ravera), a friendly costume designer who loves small talk almost as much as her celebrity crush, Andrew Carver. Molly's questions push Nomi -- not to mention her onion rings -- over the edge, but she is still nice enough to offer Nomi a place to stay. Nomi is understandably skeptical. "Are you hitting on me?" She asks. "No," Molly says. "You're not a hooker, are you?" "No." And the rest is history. (As an added bonus: Watch this very same scene set to Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On.')
So You Think You Can Dance?
As Nomi soon discovers, the road to fame in Vegas is paved with backstabbers, liars and tough questions like "Can you spell MGM backwards?" and "You do eat brown rice and vegetables, don't you?" So, like every great dancer, she's forced to stay on her toes at all times, including her first dance rehearsal, during which viewers get a lesson in what it really means to "thrust it."
Nomi spends much of the film feuding with Cristal Connors (Gina Gershon, in an insanely underrated performance). But as it turns out, the rivals have more in common than they initially thought. Among their shared interests: fine manicures, Kyle MacLachlan and, in this specific scene, rare delicacies -- like, you know, dog food.
Of course, there are tons of classic moments from 'Showgirls,' including the epic bead scene, which, sadly, is unavailable on the Internet. So I'll leave it to you, Moviefone readers. Share your favorite 'Showgirls' scenes in the comments below.
And, if you can't get enough 'Showgirls,' watch this hilarious parody video set to a laugh track.