Following the massive critical and commercial success of his Il Postino, one of the top-grossing foreign films in American history, director Michael Radford (1984) couldn't have predicted the sleepy reception awaiting his follow-up movies. But cinema has a notoriously short memory, and Radford's 1998 shrug of a road romance, B. Monkey, barely grazed U.S. theaters before it was unceremoniously bumped to video shelves. The same sort of response greeted his next film, the ensemble drama Dancing At The Blue Iguana (not to be confused with Blue Iguana or Dancing At Lughnasa). The film follows a group of strippers working at the titular club, where the house rules—no sex, no drugs—are roundly ignored and the musical accompaniment (Leonard Cohen, Moby) seems better suited to a college radio station. Daryl Hannah, Sandra Oh, and Jennifer Tilly head up a large, generally excellent cast, playing strippers whose onstage bravado contrasts sharply with their dysfunctional private and emotional lives. Crafted largely through improvisation, Iguana casts Tilly as a rage-filled hellion with a maternal streak, Hannah as a spacey woman-child who maintains a naïve faith in humanity, and Oh as a poet/stripper who serves as a slight variation on the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold. Over the course of the film, the women's lives generally go from bad to worse, as Hannah futilely attempts to become the world's least-fit foster parent, Tilly wrestles with an unwanted pregnancy, and Oh descends into a nightmare world of poetry readings. Iguana's leads helped create their characters, and the film's collaborative, improvisational nature seems largely responsible both for its jarring tonal shifts and for the live-wire energy of individual scenes. Alternately frustrating and invigorating, Iguana works better as an actor's showcase than as a drama, and Hannah and Tilly in particular seem to relish the opportunity to be more than mere window-dressing. After a while, the troubled strippers begin to blur into the same self-defeating victim, but at its best, Iguana possesses a raw, naked intimacy that has little to do with the abundance of unclothed flesh on display.