Step Up holds up 10 years later
Step Up was released on August 11, 2006. Yesterday marked the dance movie’s 10-year anniversary. Does that make you feel as old as it makes me feel? In celebration of Step Up’s milestone, Mashable posted a mostly positive article called, “Happy 10th Anniversary to 'Step Up,' you beautiful piece of trash.” Rude. Nostalgia culture is no joke. We’ll probably celebrate the anniversary of that time Britney’s weave fell out. I get that. But I do not love Step Up solely because of nostalgia. I do not just love Step Up because it gave us Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Channing Tatum, the couple. I love Step Up because it’s a feel-good, entertaining AF teen movie that gave us Channing Tatum, period. It essentially gave us Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL. We owe this cinematic treasure so much. When you watch Channing Tatum playing a merman or mermaid or whatever in the Splash remake, just remember that you have Step Up to thank.
There is no shame in my love for the Step Up franchise (receipts, here). It’s not a guilty pleasure. It’s just straight-up pleasure. I take offense to looking back on the film as, “a story that should have never been published in a high school zine, let alone by a major movie studio.” How dare you, Mashable. Let’s remember the OG Step Up for what it is. It’s a PG teen romance set in a high school. With dancing. Lots of dancing. It’s also a commentary on youth crime, classism and poverty in America. I kid. Let’s not take it too seriously, OK? Sure, it’s full of clichés and dance movie tropes but so are Grease and Dirty Dancing.
With that in mind, 10 years later, Step Up holds up. I watched it on Netflix a few weeks ago for no reason other than it was a Tuesday and Step Up was on Netflix. It’s the most mid-2000s movie, ever. Remember Mario? Mario will always have 2006. Of course, the key ingredient to Step Up’s success is the undeniable, intense, goddamn-they-are-good-looking chemistry between Jenna and Channing.
The Tatums seem to still love the movie that brought them together because they celebrated the anniversary on social media, as you do. Jenna even posted this stupidly adorable re-enactment of Step Up’s most famous lift.
I’m not squealing. You’re squealing.