Friday, May 22, 2009

Dance Flick

What are you doing reading a review for this movie? Come to think of it, what was I doing going to a screening of it? You know exactly what this movie is, and you knew before you ever started reading this review whether it's for you or not.

There are no surprises with Dance Flick. What you see is what you get, most of it bad. The new film from the Wayan Bros. is yet another entry into the sub-genre of cheap parody films which has produced one or two fun flicks, such as the first "Scary Movie", but also filled up the DVD bargain bin at your local Best Buy and the late night B-movie channels on cable.

Dance Flick isn't one of the better entries into the genre, but at least it's not the worst. I guess that's something, right? It is however perplexing. Don't get me wrong, the entire dance film genre deserves to get poked with a stick, but the idea of centering most of the plot around an eight-year-old film isn't exactly timely.

Although mostly a series of bits and gags, the film does manage to tie them together using the basic story structure of 2001's Save the Last Dance. After her mother is killed in a horrible accident on the way to her daughter's recital Megan (Shoshana Bush) moves in with her dead-beat dad (Chris Elliot). Her love of dancing is renewed by a new love interest (Damon Wayans Jr.) whose involved in underground hip-hop dance contests for cash.

Wait, it gets worse. Amy Sedaris shows up as a dance instructor appropriately named Ms. Cameltoe who, late in the film, gives us a demonstration of her talents that made me cringe. Throw in one sequence so bad it may have ruined "Fame" for me forever and I'm done.

Although the film parodies sequences from several films such as "Flashdance", "You Got Served", Center Stage, "Hairspray", and others I've already mentioned, too many of them miss the mark. There is comedy to be had, but the film constantly goes for the cheapest joke instead of spending some time to actually make the sequences genuinely funny.

What can you say about a movie where in the opening moments a character shoves his head up his own ass to try and win a dance contest? You might get a few chuckles out of the film (I liked the short scene parodying Step Up), but mostly you'll find yourself groaning at the level of stupidity on display.

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