memoirs of a geisha versus showgirls
john and i are watching showgirls and we got to the scene where nomi is dancing at the cheetah and she goes up to the guys' table and asks them if they want a private dance and the one guy says can i suck on your tits and i was like what kind of guy would just go up to a strange woman in a bar and ask her if he can suck on her tits but then i just felt stupid, because of course i know the answer:
so megan brought up memoirs of a geisha
in a response to one of my posts the other day. it was pretty good, even though the story was kind of shallow and the whole thing felt, sometimes, just a little bit inauthentic. it was totally beautiful though. you should go see it in the theater, because it is one of those movies that you would probably enjoy a lot more watching it on the big screen.
the plot was really simple. sayuri's parents sell her to this woman in kyoto who owns a house where they train geishas. unfortunately, the head geisha girl hatsumomo hates her, ostensibly because she feels threatened. (li gong who plays hatsumomo is probably the best thing about the movie. deliciously evil. i love that.) sayuri gets in trouble and is forced to become a maid, but another geisha, mameha, takes sayuri under her wing and eventually sayuri becomes the most famous geisha in all the land. then the u.s.-americans come (wwii) and everything goes to hell. the end.
of course there is more to it than that, but i didn't want to give the whole story away.
still, what really interested me about this movie, and i am SO not joking, is that it totally parallels showgirls in like dozens of ways. it is so similar in some parts that i want to know if joe eszterhas read the book or the author of the book saw the movie. it is probably just a coincidence, but here are some similarities:
first of all, the "flashdance
" scene megan wrote about in her comment. when sayuri finally gets her big break and becomes a famous dancer she performs on stage for all the men. (it was actually my favorite part of the movie.) here is a picture.
this struck me as really effing similar to the part in showgirls
where nomi finally gets her big break (after breaking crystal's hip) and gets to dance on stage as the star of the stardust's new show. here is a picture:
sayuri comes from a small fishing town. in showgirls
, nomi comes from a small town in wyoming.
sayuri at first fails to achieve her dream of becoming a star geisha and is forced to work as a maid. nomi first fails to achieve her dream of becoming a showgirl and is forced to work as a stripper.
but then sayuri gets "adopted" by mameha (and the powerful chairman) who train her to be the best geisha in kyoto. nomi gets "adopted" by crystal (and the powerful zach) who train her to be the best showgirl in vegas.
in order to achieve her dream, sayuri must defeat the vicious and jealous hasumomo who first inspired her to be a geisha. in order to achieve her dream, nomi must first defeat the vicious and jealous crystal who first inspired her to be a showgirl.
sayuri falls in love with the first man to show her true respect, the chairman. nomi falls in love with the first man to (ostensibly) show her true respect, zach.
in order to be succesful, sayuri must betray her "sisters" hatsumomo and pumpkin. in order to be successful, nomi must betray her "sister" molly and castmate crystal.
the biggest similarity between the two films is that the general theme that defines each of them is EXACTLY the same. memoirs
strives to show an internal conflict within sayuri to define her career as a geisha as separate from prostitution. and (if one could argue it even has
a theme) showgirls
strives to show an internal conflict within nomi to define her career as a showgirl as separate from prostitution. the conclusion: "you are a whore darlin' we all are."
of course, there are other similarities, but i don't want to give anything away. in any case, y'all should go watch memoirs
and see for yourself why it should really be called showgirls: kyoto
(postscript: as awesomely diabolical as li gong is as hatsumomo she is absolutely no match for gina gershon as crystal conners. i'd let her do my nails any day.)