MOVIES . . . STRIPTEASE: Whatever lubricious thoughts the advance buzz may have induced, 'Striptease' is not about Demi Moore1s getting naked Ð well, almost naked. She does, several times, and she is, as we used to say a damned handsome woman. But so far as this movie is concerned, not a very sexy one, says TIME's Richard Schickel. Writer-director Andrew Bergman presents her as a rather abstract object of desire. He wants us to know that his mind, at least, is not in the gutter. The film places Moore's character, a stripper named Erin Grant, in a nasty fight to regain custody of her daughter from a creepy former spouse, which in turn involves her in the murderous machinations of corrupt rich people. But it forgets to explain persuasively what a nice girl like Erin is doing in a dump called the Eager Beaver, taking off her clothes for a living. Worse, according to Schickel, he misses novelist Carl Hiaasen's strength: setting mean-funny characters spinning through lowlife milieus. Yes, Burt Reynolds has some dirty, lively moments as a crooked, sex-starved Congressman. But the crazy, nothing-to-lose anarchy of people living below the margin and beyond the fringe is not within Bergman1s fastidious reach.
BOOKS . . . RANDOM HOUSE DICTIONARY: The English language is alive and ill. The very quality that enriches the vocabulary -->