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Inessential Essentials: Revisiting Joe Eszterhas's Telling Lies in America

Telling Lies in America

The film: Telling Lies in America (1997)

Why It's An Inessential Essential: Two years after Showgirls got screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (Basic Instinct, Burn Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Film) blacklisted, the wily self-promoter returned with Telling Lies in America. Lies, based on a semi-autobiographical story, is somewhat similar to Showgirls in that they have common themes. Both films treat selling out and deception as an integral part of getting ahead in show business. But Lies, directed by Guy Ferland, is obviously not as garishly sarcastic as Showgirls is (few films are...). It's refreshing in that sense to see Eszterhas show genuine affection for his con men and hucksters in Lies rather than alternately mock and then half-heartedly show affection for his desperate protagonists.
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