Business Is Business

Verhoeven's first feature is an incongruously jaunty tale, based on Albert Mol's novel, about two Dutch prostitutes, Greet (Bierman) and Nel (De Leur). Keen to avoid the self-consciousness of European art house cinema, the director opts for a knockabout style oddly reminiscent of Robin Askwith comedies. The encounters between the women and their clients, most of them looking like they've escaped from a George Grosz cartoon, are invariably played for laughs, but the slapstick with cream cakes and feathers is inappropriate given the humiliation the women endure. The endlessly put-upon Nel has an abusive boyfriend; Greet is more self-reliant, but can't escape her way of life. Whatever his reputation now as a master cinematographer, Jan De Bont shoots the film in a plain uninspiring fashion. Not the most auspicious of debuts.

Release details

Duration: 89 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Paul Verhoeven
Screenwriter: Gerard Soeteman
Cast: Ronnie Bierman
Sylvia De Leur
Piet Romer
Jules Hamel
Bernard Droog
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