Wednesday, June 23, 2010


When people hear that I haven't seen Center Stage, they get that crazy look on their face that is a mixture of shock and disappointment. So, in an effort to stave off those looks, I decided to cave and just watch the movie, not that I ever had anything against it, I just had never seen it and didn't place it on my list of priorities.
I can see the appeal in relation to when it was released. I mean, it was during that age of Bring It On and movies focusing on niche segments of semi-popular culture were all the rage. The interesting dance numbers inter-spliced with psuedo-interesting story lines make for an enjoyable film that ends with a "stirring" dance performance meant to leave the viewer with a feeling of hope and excitement. These movies take their cue from Rent.
Think back to back when Rent was relevant. Think back to that stirring moment at the end of the musical when they sing "No Day But Today" and Angel runs back out on stage for the final moment, as if he never left them and the audience is left with the feeling that there's hope. It's a completely false hope really, but that's the feeling. So these movies took their cues there and do the same.
In this case, the final "stirring" dance was what they wanted it to be. Exciting, telling and completely unrealistic. The way that the pieces fit together was like there were puzzle pieces missing. It all looks good, but at least in the finale of Bring It On, the routine all fit together and there wasn't a moment when you went, ' did those costumes and sets instantly change?' Or better yet, 'how did her point shoes pull a Wicked Witch of the East and instantly change colors without Elphaba there to cast a spell?' Perhaps I'm being too critical. I mean, I like things that are completely unrealistic. But the rest of the movie is trying to be realistic and all of the sudden, she's pulling an Elphaba.
Watching it now, so long after it was released initially, I'm left wondering what the big deal is. It's not really any different than anything else that's out there and by that, I mean other dance movies. The reason that Bring It On was and is still a classic is because it was witty, funny and the niche genre it explored hadn't and hasn't been diluted by the onslaught of other films in the genre. (The subsequent Bring It On sequels don't count...for anything)
But it may be no big deal now, and if we're being honest, it didn't make any money when it was released into theaters either, but somewhere inbetween then and now, the fact of not having seen it causes the shock and disappointment face. It's interesting.
You know what else is interesting? The amazing over-use of Mandy Moore music in the movie.

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