While Magic Mike is in theaters we're celebrating memorable cinematic strippers
Beau here to discuss a reluctant exhibitionist, Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies.
It is one of the strangest of all strip scenes. Strange in the sense that, in less than five minutes, it accomplishes so much more than titillation. It anticipates that expectation, and rises above it; it is a telling of a woman looking at the walls she's built in her life and slowly, awkwardly, gracelessly pulling them down, like a feral animal. That she grows in confidence is only fitting, since by revealing herself physically, it's also a striptease she's performing for herself. Layers and a multi-faceted persona that surprise even her. It is the funniest striptease of the last twenty years (intentional, before I get hordes of Showgirls comments) and it is performed by the long underrated Jamie Lee Curtis in James Cameron's True Lies.
Curtis' Helen Tasker begins as a simple housewife, an estimation both the audience and the character accept from the get go. With a ninth grade math teacher's haircut and eyeglasses that would send Edith Head into a conniption fit, she is neo-Dowdy - Clarissa Brown removed and brought to the nineties, sans the lesbianism and suicidal tendencies. (Brat child still intact.)