It is hard to figure out just what director Jack Truman was hoping to achieve with “The 60 Year Old Stripper.” Is it comedy? Is it an attempt to bend viewers’ perceptions of the stripping profession and those in it? Is it meant to be shocking, provocative, ironic, eye-opening?
While Truman’s intent is unclear, the enjoyability of watching the final product isn’t. It’s pretty brutal. The film’s centerpiece and reason for being is Opal Dockery (who is also Truman’s mom, according to Dixie Films’ MySpace page, and may be remembered from another Truman flick, “Phone Sex Grandma”). She is an ordinary-looking woman who very well may be 60, give or take a couple years. This short is essentially an interview with Dockery in which she discusses sex and all that it encompasses. On the one, optimistic, hand, Dockery’s ease in talking about the subject is refreshing… for all of about 30 seconds. Then, sadly and quickly, it sways into the realm of the repetitive, grating and discomforting.
That’s not to say Dockery is inarticulate or that she doesn’t raise good points in her Q&A. For example, Dockery doesn’t understand why mainstream America covets images of violence and war yet shudders at the thought of nudity. Fair ’nuff. She questions religion’s place in the world. Well, she’s not the only one.
But around minute four, a question will likely pop into any viewer’s mind: Why am I watching this? Listening to Dockery opine on a so-called taboo subject like sex is no more enlightening or funny than watching a bottom-of-the-barrel episode of Maury Povich.
But what makes “The 60 Year Old Stripper” particularly unenjoyable is the clips of Dockery stripping and weighing herself. Both are included, presumably, to emphasize Dockery’s comfort in her own skin, which, again, is refreshing but severely overdone for the purposes of a movie. And, for those wondering, viewers are indeed treated to a view of Dockery in her birthday suit.
Whereas “Phone Sex Grandma” was at least somewhat amusing (there are undeniably some humorous, albeit twisted ,upsides to listening to a grandmotherly woman tell sex-craving clientèle really, really dirty things over the phone), “The 60 Year Old Stripper” is simply unpleasant.