MAKE IT HAPPEN

ANOTHER teen dance movie already?? Jees...

Flashdance is a pretty good dance movie. A bizarre feminist movie about how strong AND pretty/feminine women can be. I have no problem with dance used in a context like that but another dance movie this year? Seriously, where the heck do they keep coming from? The answer is writer Duane Adler and this latest creation, like all of the others, is aimed mainly at teenagers and is about people being everything they can be, and that we are all really just great, like, it doesn't even matter if you're fat, or poor, or your parents are dead, because, like, with music you can shake your ass and everything is freakin' awesome. Yeah. So anyway, Make it Happen is about a teenage girl from a small town in the country who is desperate to become a dancer. She's always dreamed of going to the Chicago School of Music and Dance and, according to an early scene and short chat, has trained really hard since she was a kid. When she heads of to a hard won audition her brother is apprehensive, should she be leaving the security of the family garage, where she is a crucial employee, to be a dancer in Chicago? Sounds like some crazy scheme bound to be doomed in failure (he's obviously never seen a dance movie). Once there it's harder than Lauren thought, she fails repeatedly but somehow someone is always nice enough to fix it for her, plus there's a guy who wants to go out with her. How sweet. But will she finally get into the dance school she's always dreamed about? Who knows? (Well, we all know, but you know...) In Flashdance Alex had it tough, she was a welder and that's no easy profession. It's hot and sweaty and actually surprisingly dangerous. In this, the main character Lauren is a bookkeeper. Now I'm befuddled as to whether there is some kind of weird credit crunch link. Is this supposed to be the thing we all identify with? In the 80s industrial workers were still suffering following the downturn of the 70s, so we make the main character facing the adversity of the welding industry, now with the sub prime crisis and the looming global recession the edgy thing to make your character is an accountant at a small business? I don't know about you all but this really didn't pack much of a punch for me. What's more, I thought that the dancing in Flashdance was awesome, and even some of the other Urban dance movie we've had in recent years has been pretty cool, but this stuff just didn't do it for me. The idea that Lauren was an individual and managed to combine edgy urban moves (it looked a little bit like her bones were spontaneously breaking at random intervals) with sexual femininity (shaking her ass and boobs) comes across as just a little bit laughable despite all the obvious hard work that went into the choreography and training, which is a real shame. But to be honest I think all of this critiquing might be a bit heavy handed. The film is certainly not one with universal appeal, and is more than a little predictable, but for young teens it could be entertaining. The music is ok, the dancing vibrant and fast-paced and there isn't that much depth or too many complex issues dealt with in the plot. Plus, as messages go, the positive outlook combined with obvious avoidance of the idea that life is all about looking good (some clearly inserted scenes of Lauren eating various junk foods do this job nicely) is upbeat and refreshingly controversy free. If you're a girl under 16 and like urban music give it a chance, otherwise I'd suggest it's not worth the time.

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Michael J Edwards hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.