One’s ability to live a balanced life often depends on how one compensates for their deficiencies. Take, for instance, the human body. It has a natural ability to compensate when forced to part with a “necessary” limb or sense.  You lose your sight, your hearing increases. You lose a kidney, and the other one picks up the slack.  The body compensates; you evolve, adapt and move on.

The process of compensation is not a purely biological fact, but a cinematic one as well. We often notice a primary core value missing from films today. The missing value is diversity. Since the more purposeful, conscious efforts to introduce diversity into films usually come off as heavy-handed, most films have come to rely upon more understated efforts to pierce the public consciousness. These films introduce tropes that eventually become a permanent part of pop culture, for better or worse.  One trope in particular is used over and over again in films (mainly romantic comedies) where there is usually no sign of diversity to be found: scenes with white people dancing around to black music

What better way to make black moviegoers feel more welcome and connected to the story than to have its pasty face stars do the “White Man’s Overbite” to the soul hits of yesteryear? Of course this is just a theory. Perhaps the directors really do enjoy soul music (as many people of all races do) and think their characters should as well. Either way, when black culture and white culture collide on celluloid it’s always an interesting study, if nothing else.

10. Something Borrowed

Give ‘em an “A” for effort. In this forgettable romantic comedy from 2011, Ginnifer Goodwin plays Rachael, a woman who harbors a secret crush on her best guy friend Dex (Luke Greenfield). Dex, however, is engaged to her best girlfriend Darcy (Kate Hudson). Mediocrity ensues. You would think it impossible to mess up a paint-by-the-numbers premise like this, but they do. All around it’s a pretty lackluster effort.

Ironically the  most entertaining  moment of the film comes when Hudson’s Darcy and Goodwin’s Rachael decide to relive some childhood bliss by getting their groove on to Salt and Peppa’s “Push It”. Unfortunately, it seems they put all of their energy into learning the choreography instead of acting.

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This article was first posted on November 15, 2012