Alex (Jennifer Beales) is a young woman with two jobs. A welder by day and an exotic dancer by night (at the most creative strip club ever conceived). She wants to get into ballet school and must overcome her fears in order to do so.
Yes, the story is a fairy tale cliche, the acting is not brilliant and the plot is super thin but I feel that there is a lot more to Flashdance than that. It is usually put into the same bracket as Showgirls, Barbe Wire and other BAD movies. I feel that this is not the case and it is largely underrated.
The dance sequences are amazing as is the soundtrack.The soundtrack is an impressive asset of Flashdance, and it won an Academy Award for best original song for "What a Feeling". I love the first scene in the club. The music is awesome, the dancing is sexy, the cinematography is inventive and the water is iconic.
The movie is a lot darker than it lets on. There is a lot of crude sexual imagery, such as when Beals removes her bra from underneath her infamous sweater while on a date with her boss, or the scene in which she dines at a table, and erotically sucks on pieces of lobster meat.
I find Flashdance a kind of female version of Rocky. From the title sequence, theme song, having one chance to make it big, the location (Pittsburgh) playing a part, montage, etc but dancing instead of boxing gloves. All Alex needed to do was cry out "AAADDDRRRIIIAAANNN" at the end of her audition and it would have been perfect. But as it stands I just love the audition scene anyway.
Flashdance is more than just a time capsule of the 80s. It is a musically-themed picture infused with eroticism, spandex, pop music and a message to follow your dreams that comes through loud and clear. For me this is the most important part of the story and the basis of the movie. Over-coming fear of rejection and pursuing your dreams and passions; "When you give up your dream, you die", Take your passion and make it happen."