Dance movies have been made by Hollywood since it’s earliest days. The question that audiences have to ask, is the dancing there to speak for the characters or is it being used because of an underdeveloped plot?
That is the question I am going to ask with this post.
The first movie I will review is Step Up (2006).
Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) has been gifted with the ability to dance. But he also has the ability to get in trouble. After a run in with the law, Tyler’s punishment is to clean up the school that he and his friends destroyed. At the school, Tyler meets Nora (Jenna Dewan Tatum). Nora’s partner has recently been injured and she needs Tyler to help with the choreography of a show she is working on. Nora and Tyler begin to work with each and soon find that they can learn from each other.
For a teenaged dance movie, as a stand alone movie, it’s not bad. I can’t say the same for the film’s sequels, which seem to get worse with every film. It’s not the most intellectually stimulating film, but I’ve seen worse.
The second movie is Dance With Me (1998).
Originally from Cuba, Chayanne (Rafael Infante) has just buried his mother. Now he is in Houston looking for his father. John (Kris Kristofferson) does not know that Rafael is his son when they meet for the first time. John runs a dance school and is hoping to win World Open Dance Championship. The school’s best hope to win is Ruby (Vanessa Williams). When it is discovered that Rafael can dance, he and Ruby are partnered together. Can they win and bring home the trophy for the school?
Overall, this movie is not bad. The dance sequences don’t threaten to overtake weak points in the plot. And it’s nice to see a diverse cast on screen.
Finally, the third film is Shall We Dance? (2004).
John Clark (Richard Gere) is a middle aged lawyer who finds that his life has become very boring. Deciding to add some excitement to his life, he signs up for ballroom dance lessons. One of the instructors is Paulina (Jennifer Lopez), who has her own troubles. The classes will lead John down a path that he never expects and opens up new opportunities that may end up changing his life.
As dance movies go, this movie is the best of all three. The dance scenes only enhance the characters journeys, instead of simply being filler.
I recommend all three.