Weekend Entertainment Guide

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MOVIES . . . STRIPTEASE: Whatever lubricious thoughts the advance buzz may have induced, 'Striptease' is not about Demi Moore1s getting naked 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 -->