Review: Singalong Step Up with Shebang!
Last night marked the second occasion of our favourite new quarterly amusement: Watching Cheesy Dance Movies With Toronto’s B-girl Crew, Shebang!
We arrived at the packed theatre to discover the primo second and third central rows of seating reserved with flimsy “Warning: Birthday Party Do Not Cross” tape. Throwing caution to the ground like so much spilt popcorn, we vaulted the tape and sat there anyway, only to find ourselves surrounded as the rows filled with dozens of Step Up backup dancers and their friends.
Pushing the teen celebrity quotient to it’s, like-OMG, zenith, was the sighting of Amanda Bynes, who, judging by the way she shielded herself from camera phones with both hands, was in the crowd because she felt like seeing something, knows that lead guy from the last film she was in, and everyone else was going anyway– not because she wanted to have anything to do with Step Up.
Despite b-girl Maehem’s protestations that these people destroyed her night by making it impossible for her to be the loudest, most obnoxious screaming dancer in the room, the movie would not have been half as entertaining without them. With their constant wisecracking, their cheering for exuberantly named friend, Woo Woo, and of course, the dance circle they tried to start as the credits rolled, they saved both the movie and movie night.
Because the movie, obviously, sucked. Too many stereotypes, not enough body doubling for the lead dancers, gratuitous killing-off of minor characters, blah, blah, blah. On the Jill & Jennrock Cheesy Dance Movie Rating System (JJ-CDMRS- scored out of 10, with 5 points assigned to each J-Judge and no half points allowed) 10 Js went to the Step Up movie night experience, but only 2 to the movie itself, placing it roughly on par with You Got Served, 1 above Honey, a full 7 below Stick It, and an alarming 5 beneath Flashdance.
But complaining about the movie won’t bring Skinny back, and the film itself was only just barely the focus of the exercise anyway.
While much of this review will not be useful in the strict context of film criticism, as a point of public service, Torontoist would like to remind its readers that here in Hollywood North (or Teen Hollywood, as we like to call it– just like grown-up Hollywood, but awkward, with a tax-credited allowance, more chaperoning and a younger legal drinking age), one can replicate this experience at an opening night screening of almost any teen movie at the Paramount at Richmond and John.
This city is positively glistening with the lip gloss of overgroomed teen sensations. Don’t believe us? Take a closer look. There’s probably one renting your mom’s guest bedroom right now.