Longtime readers of this column know that I love teen movies. But a teen DANCE movie???
Heaven, y"all. Pure, unadulterated, shameless heaven.
I have seen them all. Save the Last Dance? Yes. Dirty Dancing Havana Nights? Yes, yes. Centre Stage? Yes, yes, yes! You Got Served? Um, like, only the best one! I even saw and ENJOYED Antonio Banderas in Take the Lead - the perfect outlet for his Euro cheese. Beat that.
So needless to say - OF COURSE I went to see Step Up on opening night, expecting to be entertained and comforted by the Teen Dance Movie Formula:
Boy meets girl from different socioeconomic background, star crossed lovers brought together by dance
protagonists hate each other to start but chemistry is undeniable, creating adolescent butterflies and tension in viewer"s stomach, even if she is 32 almost 33
: when the real action begins, when the 2 main characters groove on each other in a way that no parent would approve of and the resulting teen heat is enough to make you want to order the Wade Robson Dance Tutorial DVD on informercial so that you can move like that yourself.
cinematic satisfaction, they give in to the hotness, and if it was up to me, it should be followed later on by some sex, although this hardly ever happens
The usual obstacles:
sometimes a boyfriend, sometimes parents, popularity expectations or, in one case, Fidel Castro
the anchor of the film, the one event around which everything hinges, usually a "competition"
over something innocuous punctuated by a musical montage showing both subjects in various degrees of lovesick depression
the ultimate dance sequence when everything comes together and you"ve never seen dancing like this before and they make up and everybody cries and the audience erupts and our two players look at each other while the rest of the stage melts away and you just know they"ll be together forever and ever, ah-Shiloh.
=One Helluva Friday Night at the Movies
A kick ass formula, non? Tried and true and when strictly followed, the results are always mind numbingly positive. But the problem is that Step Up tried to be more. Step Up overreached and in doing so, violated the Golden Nots:
1. Teen Dance Movies should clock in at 90 minutes, 100 TOPS. Any more than that and you"re done. This movie was TWO HOURS LONG! WTF???
2. Someone died. Umm….hello??? There is no death in Teen Dance Movies! There should only be angst, and sweat, and doing the splits. Death is just insulting. Death is depressing. I do not go to Teen Dance Movies to see death. Leave death to Clint Eastwood and Hong Kong Cinema.
But…having said all this… there was a saving grace. And her name is Jenna Dewan, previously known as the back up dancer who first dated JT post-Britney, re-introduced to you now as the body to end all bodies. I"m telling you - I am in love.
Never mind the face. The face is cute. The face however is just a front for the physique. And the photos don"t do it justice. You have to watch her move. As Borat would say - wahwahweewah!
Fit, tight, lean, not anorexic, and her ass? This ass made the movie. You cannot NOT look at her ass. It"s what I call a "multi-tasking ass", one that fulfills both cosmetic and utilitarian purposes, great for admiring and for working, an ass that gets attention and an ass that EARNS attention. See the subtle difference? It"s one thing to stand on the beach in bikini and pose, it"s another to wear a leotard and do crazy things in the air and use you arms and legs to accessorise your ass in what can only be described as dancing ass poetry.
Such is the gift of Jenna Dewan. This is why I worship Jenna Dewan. Am actually considering pitching Colin Farrell from the Freebie 5 for Jenna Dewan. And don"t bother protesting until you"ve seen the movie and her ass in the process. Also - don"t bother campaigning for Channing Tatum, the male lead. Too much gym, too much dry skin, too indistinguishable…even if he HAS mastered the art of what my girl Angie calls HOVER KISSING which, for all you straight men out there - THAT is what we want…savvy?