Work Boots and Ballet Slippers: A Review of ‘Flashdance’


Flashdance (1983)
Written by Thomas Hedley Jr. and Joe Eszterhas
Directed by Adrian Lyne

When mentioning having recently seen this for the first time, more than anything I hear, “Too bad you didn’t see it in the ‘80‘s—it was great then, but now it doesn’t hold up.”  Even people who like it seem to only like it ironically, for its leg warmers and soundtrack.  Few take it seriously—it’s got a 30% on Rotten Tomatoes, and the screenplay got a Razzie.

Did we see the same movie?  Because to me, Flashdance is a cohesive and universally relatable work of art.  In fact, I was so impressed by it that I watched it again a couple days later.  What gives?

I think it has to do with it being so iconic to its era that people have become blind to its timeless themes and legitimate beauty.  It’s mistaken for a glamorous romp about a girl with high heels on, when really, it’s the struggle of a woman alternating between bare feet and work boots.  It’s remembered as an ‘80’s movie’ for silly, surface reasons, but really, it’s a human movie.
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