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Film / Who's That Girl

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Who's That Girl is a 1987 comedy film starring Madonna and Griffin Dunne. In the film, Madonna plays a street-smart woman named Nikki Finn, who was framed for a murder she didn't commit, and who four years later is being escorted to the bus station by Louden Trott (Griffin Dunne), a tax attorney who is working for Simon Worthington and is engaged to be married to his daughter Wendy.

This film provides examples of

  • Amusing Injuries: Raoul and Benny fall from a parking garage with only lots of dirt covering their car.
  • And This Is for...: Louden to Simon during the Sword Fight:
    Louden: That's for the four years you stole from Nikki...and this is for me. (Steps on Simon's crotch)
  • Animated Credits Opening: Which provides part of the backstory behind Nikki's situation. Can be seen here.
  • The Antichrist: What Louden thinks of Nikki at one point in the film.
    Louden: Just tell me, I won't be upset. I really just want to know. Are you the Anti-Christ? You can tell me, really. I won't be mad. You are, aren't you?
  • Badass Boast: Nikki to Simon on the car phone, while she's firing a gun into the air.
    Nikki: I am Nikki Finn, and I will not be denied. I will know vengeance.
  • Badass Bookworm: Louden, a tax attorney with fencing skills.
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  • Big Bad/Corrupt Corporate Executive: Simon Worthington.
  • Bouquet Toss: Wendy at the wedding when she goes off to be with Buck, which the bridesmaids still bound to each other catch together.
  • Boyfriend Bluff: Nikki had to pose as Louden's fiancee Wendy during an interview to obtain an apartment while the real Wendy was captured by Raoul and Benny.
  • Cat Scare: A big cat scare, as at the beginning of the film, the delivery cyclist bolts right off the docks when he finds out what kind of cat he has to deliver.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Most of the cast, actually. Nikki's ditzy, carefree demeanor is the most obvious example, but Mr. Bell is a philanthropist who operates a wildlife refuge on the roof of his building, Wendy and her mother both lean into Upper-Class Twit, and even the two detectives following Nikki's hurricane of chaos have their moments.
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  • Clear My Name: Nikki's quest throughout the entire film is to find out who set her up to be framed as a murderess.
  • Disposable Fiancée: Wendy, who gets dumped by Louden at the wedding when he confesses his love for Nikki. No big loss for her, though; she gets herself hooked up with the delivery guy Buck.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A cyclist passing by Nikki during the Animated Credits Opening, who in his distraction knocks over a clothing rack.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Nikki, once she gets a hold of Louden's car.
  • Dude, Where's Our Car?: Louden's car gets stolen by a couple of carjackers when Louden and Nikki are inside Cartier's and Nikki's safety deposit box key ends up inside the box of one of Wendy's bridal shower gifts.
  • Five-Finger Discount: How Nikki acquires things, whether they be cassette tapes or expensive cigarette holders.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: Nikki when she gets a hold of a gun and Louden's car phone and talks to Simon, not knowing who she was really talking to.
  • Frameup: As seen in the Animated Credits Opening, Raoul and Benny kill Nikki's boyfriend Johnny, stuff him in the back of Nikki's car, and make it look like Nikki had killed him in a crime of passion.
  • Genius Ditz: Nikki. Although she acts rather ditzy, she is very street-smart and she knows how to tame wild animals.
  • Groin Attack: Louden to Simon during his fencing duel at the wedding.
  • I Have Your Wife: Raoul holds Wendy hostage and has Louden surrender Nikki in exchange for his fiancee, which he does, only for Nikki to soon whistle for Murray the cougar to come and put a scare in Raoul and Benny before they drive off with her.
  • Improvised Weapon: Louden uses a car antenna as a fencing weapon when he duels with Raoul on top of a car in a parking garage.
  • Inspector Javert: The police detectives Bellson and Doyle, who follow Nikki around town until they discover evidence given to them by Nikki that Simon was in league with criminals and had Nikki's boyfriend Johnny murdered and Nikki framed for the murder to cover it up.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: The camera pans away from Bellson and Doyle, the two male police detectives, kissing each other in the car to Benny who is tied up on the roof of the car.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Buck the delivery guy.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Simon. The prenuptual agreement below also has a clause that Louden will not inherit a single penny of anything Simon has if he ever dies, for example.
  • Only Sane Man: Louden is pretty much the only member of the cast who's not a Cloud Cuckoolander.
  • Overprotective Dad: Simon, to the point where in the prenuptial agreement Louden has to sign, he has pages full of diagrammed sexual positions Louden and Wendy aren't allowed to engage in.
  • Panthera Awesome: The rare cougar (a Patagonian felis concolor) Louden has to deliver to Mr. Bell, which Nikki takes a liking to and tames, calling him "Murray". The cougar comes to Nikki's rescue a few times in the movie when she whistles for him, and he and his mate even follow after their bus at the end.
  • Punk in the Trunk: Nikki's dead boyfriend in the Animated Credits Opening, which is how she gets framed.
  • Punny Name: Louden Clear, given by Nikki when she had him admitted into the hospital.
  • Really Gets Around: Wendy. A Running Gag throughout the film is that various taxi drivers have said that they "had her in the cab once".
  • Screwball Comedy: A modern-day iteration of the genre that even features a subplot with a big cat being delivered to a wealthy Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Simon jokes about not needing to bring out the shotgun when Louden shows up on time for the wedding.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: The last line of the movie is Nikki telling Louden to shut up and kiss her.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: At the wedding, Nikki interrupts at that point to reveal that (1) Simon Worthington was a criminal who had Nikki's boyfriend murdered and her framed for it in order to cover up his crimes, and (2) Nikki and Louden were in love with each other.
  • Stag Party: Louden's excuse to Wendy was that he was attending his bachelor party the night before the wedding, when in actuality he spent the night in Mr. Bell's apartment with Nikki.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Suggested by one of the reporters who are trying to interview the bridesmaids being held captive by Raoul and Benny.
    Reporter: Have you developed a relationship with your captors? Do you find yourself physically attracted to them?
  • Straight Gay: The two police detectives, Bellson and Doyle, who were following after Nikki, who end up kissing each other by the end of the film.
  • Sword Fight: Louden and Simon, in which Louden defeats Simon by knocking the saber out of his hand.
  • Telepathic Sprinklers: Nikki accidentally sets off the sprinkler system in an apartment building when she and Louden hide out in a utility closet and she moves the flame of a lit cigarette lighter near one of the sprinklers.
  • Watch the Paint Job: Louden's car, a Rolls Royce borrowed from the Worthingtons that had a very distinct car horn sound, which unfortunately gets damaged throughout the film and eventually falls apart at the Worthington estate during the wedding.
  • Wedding Day: Louden and Wendy's near the end of the film, which gets called off when Nikki crashes the wedding and reveals some things about the groom and and the bride's father.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: Although the wedding was called off when Louden confessed his love for Nikki, the passengers on the bus Nikki was riding on waste no time taking advantage of the food being served at the wedding.

Example of: