Critics were eager to label Striptease the same kind of colossal skin-flick failure as Showgirls, in part because both employed the same save-face marketing strategy: call it a lampoon of eroticism, rather than eroticism proper, and try to win a sympathetic ear. But there's legitimate mirth to be found in this first film adaptation of a novel by Carl Hiaasen, whose series of outlandish takes on Florida political corruption have won him a popular following. The corrupt politician du jour is a sex-crazed congressman played by Burt Reynolds, whose daffy breeziness is a dead giveaway of the film's true lighthearted nature. Striptease courted buzz for its promise to show more of Demi Moore than anyone but Bruce Willis had ever seen, and her artfully sculpted and toned flesh is indeed on display. But it's hard to call this film anything but a comedy, what with a politician who fills his cowboy boots with Vaseline prior to speeches, a bodyguard (Ving Rhames) who practices inserting cockroaches into "unopened" yogurt containers as lawsuit fodder, and a drunken ex-husband (played with liberating abandon by Robert Patrick) who stumbles around on dog tranquilizers with a golf club lashed to his broken arm as a makeshift splint. Add Paul Guilfoyle and Armand Assante and the result is an ensemble of humorous personalities who can barely contain themselves from winking at the audience. Striptease may indeed have gone awry as the concept traveled from boardroom to multiplex, but the results are watchable because of the film's surprisingly nutty charm.