Confessions of a Go-Go Girl
Lifetime Channel is a gift to the movie world. It’s been constantly creating and showcasing an array of original dramas and has one of the most prolific content creation legacies of a channel in history. Of course, most of their film output is despised by critics if they even bother to think of them, because most critics wouldn’t know a good film if it married them while after the suspicious deaths of its three previous wives. TarsTarkas.NET is not afraid to do whatever it takes to find cinematic gold, even if we have to watch a channel for….women! I kid, I kid. But people who have an aversion to Lifetime films are just missing out on a whole barrel of fun! From Cyber Seduction to Social Nightmare, Lifetime is magical. Their films are so popular they got their own spinoff network! Even SyFy can’t boast of that feat. Thus, in celebration of Lifetime, we shall now watch this film about go-go dancing.
Confessions of a Go-Go Girl has an amazing title and an amazing plot, following innocent rich girl Jane McCoy as she’s lured into the increasingly sleazy world of go-go dancing, parts of which correlate with your favorite stories about women becoming strippers. But this isn’t stripping, it’s go-go dancing. It’s totally different. Go-go dancing can be shown on tv!
This go-go movie has the decency to be partially self-aware, sections which I’m guessing are legacies from the stage play it’s based on. Because huge other chunks are not self-aware at all. As the play “True Confessions of a Go-Go Girl” by Jill Morley sounds biographical, things were probably enhanced for television dramatics, much as a character attempts to enhance her chest via a character named Dr. Double D. As we shall see, neither option turns out too well, but Confessions of a Go-Go Girl does manage to entertain in a schlocky way, and you can see it as how Jane McCoy gains her confidence. Part of the fun is wondering just when her family is going to find out what she’s doing, and how bonkers their reactions are going to be. Because her family is pretty terrible. Not terrible in a dysfunctional way, but terrible in an afunctional way. Dad is overly controlling and angry, Mom is upper crust oblivious, her brother is a puritanical tyrant, and her boyfriend would faint if he saw a woman in a short skirt. Jane needs these stereotypes as family members, which allows her to set out on her journey where she meets all the other stereotypes in the stri– I mean, go-go dancing world. Jane even becomes a stereotype, but that’s for a purpose. As Jane is in acting school, she creates a character persona that becomes her dancing persona. Soon the lines blur, which is Jane, and which is Dylan? Better keep dancing until you figure it out…
Jane McCoy’s life is headed downhill. Her mom wants her to wear a dress at dinner. I know, it’s terrible. Jane decides that law school is not for her, and now she wants to be an actress. Her parents are about to have their heads explode, including dad, who cuts her off from everything. Is this because of the dress? I blame the dress. Jane’s boyfriend Eric Baldwin is helpless as her parents storm off. He’s helpless a lot.
We begin the first of a series of acting classes where the teacher does exercises that vaguely correspond to what happens in Jane’s life. The first exercise is everyone looking at Jane, and later Jane meets Angela Lucas, who is pimping her photographer boyfriend’s headshot business. Headshots are the photographs everyone who casts people look at. See? SEE???
Okay, maybe it doesn’t correlate at all and I’m grasping at straws. Luckily Jane’s boyfriend gives her some money for headshots, but he hasn’t told his lawyer dad she’s not going to be a lawyer. This guy seems waaaay too much of a weenie to be a lawyer.
Angela’s boyfriend Kurt is total art guy and the pair are totally in lust/love, including hints that he’s a former junkie with no money. They also have $42,000 in cash in the house that Angela has stored away. Angela has to go to work, so takes Jane along to show off her Go-Go dancing job. Angela’s boss is the cool Nick, with a fedora and hip glasses, the fast talking friendly club manager type. Fellow dancer Donna Mercer is currently parading around on the stage for tips. She has her clothes on, yet somehow is raking in the dough.
Next up, Angela comes out as “Aurora”, and dances in her skimpy outfit to catcalls and cheers in a display of female sexual empowerment or something. Whatever it is, Angela makes a bunch of money. Nick tries to get Jane to dance as well, as Jane admires Angela’s confidence. Nick talks big, but Jane still has doubts, despite her empty pocketbook. Jane’s current job as a perfume saleswoman at a department store pays a pittance.
Angela gives Jane an expensive bag and equates her job to Jane’s boring sales job, because both are selling what the customer wants.
Jane’s parents buy vacation tickets, except still during her school year, Jane says she can’t go and dad is all wigged out because she’s rocking the boat, it’s out of character for Jane to have an opinion. Speaking of character, Jane’s acting teacher says to develop a character.
Jane decides if she developed a character, that character would go-go dance. Therefore….
Jane’s gonna go for go-go!
Nick tosses her out onstage. There is some awkward stripping down to her skivvies, yet everyone seems totally cool with the hot girl getting half naked. After a fist full of singles, Jane’s got the job.
Also they get $20 an hour plus tips. Holy crap, that’s some good wages! Most strip clubs have the women pay to perform and then they have to make the money back in tips and lap dances.
Jane meets fellow dancer Donna, who is older and has a daughter. Donna immediately tells her to get some “regulars” so they will give her gifts and extra money. Jane is very interested in getting a regular. Donna makes a daddy’s issue joke before we can. This film is ahead of the game!
It’s dancing time, including Nick giving Jane hints on how to move, and a creepy old guy who looks like Orville Redenbacher who might be Jane’s first regular….
Jane gets a new photoshoot with Kurt as her Dylan persona, while Kurt says sort of creepy flirty things while he’s shooting. Then Angela and Kurt mention that Jane should move in to their empty bedroom. Jane is currently living with her parents and none too happy. Especially since her parents have just tried to lord her owing them money over her again (her parents are making her repay her tuition to the law school she didn’t go to!) Jane drops a stack of cash on them and moves out!
They are not too happy the power balance has shifted…
Jane gets a new outfit from Donna (Donna’s side job is sewing outfits for all the go-go girls) and she’s now getting mad cash. Nick wants her to move to prime time. Both Angela and Donna have reservations, as Jane is too new and has school to worry about. But all Jane can see is her fists full of cash and sticking it to her parents.
Jane’s mom starts complaining about all her money and revealing dresses. If you’ve guessed Jane hasn’t bothered to tell her boyfriend that she’s now a go-go dancer, you win a cookie!
Disaster! Kurt has ran off with Angela’s entire $42,000! Which he probably blew on drugs! Angela then gets high and starts rambling while Jane starts to be apprehensive about her new friend.
But not that apprehensive, as Jane is getting tons of gifts from regulars, including a real fur coat from old guy, who is named Ziggy. The coat used to be his dead wife’s, so there is a moral quandary – return the coat or sell it. Jane’s gonna sell that mo-fo! Jane also gets snippy at Donna. That seems to be everyone’s hobby, make fun of Donna for being old, then paying her lots of money for a new costume.
Jane becomes more adventurous with her boyfriend – including parking lot blow jobs – that make him go “Who are you?” Her boyfriend is all weirded out by her empowerment, gifts, PAYING FOR DINNER? What is this, witchcraft???
Jane’s also increasingly late and terrible at her acting classes.
Can Jane keep up with everything? Especially with Angela offering her drugs???
For now, at least, because the middle section of Confessions of a Go-Go Girl is the weakest thanks to hesitating on when to begin the downward spiral. They can’t have things go too bad too quickly, but they also can’t have things be boring too long, either.
Jane doesn’t take the drugs, but Angela more than makes up for her and it begins to show. Angela’s Charlie Chaplin go-go stripper routine runs into trouble because she’s high as a kite and beginning to freak out on stage. She then starts yelling at the customers and gets her music cut and is yanked offstage after she flashes the audience to cheers!
Angela is fired and fined by the health inspector! Yes, if you’re naked in Chicago at a non-strip club, you get fined. Dun dun DUN! Angela’s like “Whatever!”, she’s going to Tantra… the rival go-go club that’s more dirty. The manager there is interested, but he wants Angela to go see the plastic surgeon – Dr. Double D! He also says to Jane the quote of the film – “When I saw you up there in your plain white panties…it blew my mind!”
Eventually Jane also accepts a Tantra job so she can work less and have more free time. Perhaps she wasn’t paying attention to how the manager is a creep. Angela is upset because she got a piece of Jane’s action at Nick’s as she recruited her. Nick warns Jane to be careful. He may be a sleazo, but he’s a good sleazo.
There is a nicely disturbing scene where Jane is wearing her old high school uniform that’s being altered for the stage by Donna, and Donna’s 13 year old daughter walks in wearing the same outfit and says Jane looks pretty. Mad props to this short bit.
Tantra is 99% a strip club, with girls working the pole and everything, even though they aren’t naked. Dylan’s big premiere moment at Tantra’s happens, she comes out to cheers and music and a darker color scheme. Because this is a darker place in her life.
And her dad and her boyfriend and brother walk in and see her!!!! Dun dun DUN!!
Dad starts going on about right and wrong and Jane counters about why is he there if it is so wrong? Her brother is like “It’s my bachelor party!” and then wants her to go see a specialist psychologist. Because dancing at a club is obviously a form of psychosis… Dad tries to bribe her to quit, but Jane/Dylan doesn’t want his money. The only real argument that sticks to Jane is her boyfriend calling her a liar. Because she did, she did lie to him, a pretty decent but not perfect guy. The type of guy who wouldn’t want her dancing, but would be too nice to stop her.
Angela doesn’t have money for new boobs yet, so she’s stuck working at the Lion’s Den – a terrible almost almost topless club! You can tell it’s trashy because the set is literally dirty. Donna calls Jane to try to get her to talk some sense into Angela. But Angela needs the money, and at this club they paint over the breasts and that’s it. So it’s not really topless… Angela agrees to leave the club if Jane goes with her to a bachelor party stripper gig…
Jane agrees, and you know it’s going to be as bad of an idea as it sounds.
It’s a bro-tastic party of office bros who are already horrible because they’re bros. And you know something dumb will happen. Bros always have something dumb happen. A bro gets a little too grabby with Jane…and Angela pepper sprays him and they run! Luckily Angela had them pay up front!
Jane is kicked out of class for not taking acting seriously any more! Jane watches old tapes of herself acting and realizing how much more real she was and all that jazz, now she’s just all fake and about the money. Dylan isn’t so much a character but is now the shield Jane puts up to deal with the lifestyle that’s beginning to eat away at her, becoming hardened and fake to survive. It’s the complete opposite of what she needs to be an actress, which is to often be open and vulnerable while displaying feelings for the roles.
Jane then meets the annoyingly perfect woman her brother is marrying, another upper class lady who we’ll just call Muffy because I forgot to write down her name. Jane brought Angela to the little engagement announcement tea party (because Jane still can’t be alone with her whackjob family, and I don’t blame her!) and Angela powders her nose…with cocaine!
It’s time for Angela’s boob job! Boob jobs are killer…at least Angela’s was, as she’s dead thanks to cocaine + anesthesia. Who knew boob jobs were so terrible? Only people like me who like natural breasts…
Angela stole earrings from Jane’s Mom and pawned them to pay for the boob job, so Jane borrows money from Donna to get them back. But this all leads to..
Mom finding out Jane is strutting her stuff on the go-go dance floor! Mom demands to know what is up with all this dancing. Jane’s brother is a dumb fucker who needs to get hit by a bus, calling Jane a dog. Why Jane’s brother is so insane I’ll never understand, even Jane’s Dad doesn’t seem too upset at this point that Jane is dancing. Mom is just snobbishly proper and calling the audience and dancers “those people”, blissfully not caring she just damned her entire family.
Jane gets back into acting class by monologuing about how she’s a liar in front of the whole school. ACTING! This whole monologue probably straight out of the original play more than anything else in the film. Everyone claps, and even Jane’s boring boyfriend take her back and recognizes that she’s a woman now.
So I guess we have a happy ending, where Jane is confident and powerful while still pursuing her dreams. And her brother is destined to be the subject one of those Lifetime films where the husband beats and murders his wife. So pick any other random Lifetime film and it’s the sequel to Confessions of a Go-Go Girl! Franchise building!
Had this not been based on a play, I would have just assumed that everything go-go was supposed to be stripper and Lifetime forced them to change it. Instead, I’ll just theorize that the play was more tame and things were spiced up a bit with the stripping, though the play could have had a stripper roommate friend without things going too off kilter. Regardless, Confessions of a Go-Go Girl is an interesting film that keeps you watching, even though is is 100% pure corn cheese. I don’t even know what corn cheese is, but this is corn cheese. It is amazing. Bring me more corn cheese!
Wait for it……you better….go-go to go see Confessions of a Go-Go Girl! Yes! Bad pun success!
Rated 7/10 (creepy white panties guy, BROOOO!, Dr. Double-Ds, We live in a fire station, black hat because she’s a villain??, the rulez, the curlz)
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