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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wayans' Dance Flick is a step in the wrong direction

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2009 at 10:22 AM

27f6/1242918849-danceflick.jpg There are so many Wayans family members listed in the credits of the parody film Dance Flick, opening area-wide tomorrow, it's got to be a joke. It's a fitfully funny spoof of the subgenre of urban hip-hop/R&B dance melodramas satirizes Stomp the Yard, How She Move, Roll Bounce and Step Up 2 the Streets. Not that such dancerz-n the-hood programmers don't deserve it or are somehow beyond parody. But there just isn't much sport in knocking Honey off its perch. Main achievement for the Wayanses would seem to be delivering their lampoons within the confines of a PG-13 rating (they nearly got an NC-17 for their original cut of Scary Movie). Flick mainly burlesques 2000's Save the Last Dance, with shoutouts to Fame, Hairspray, Dreamgirls, Halle Berry's driving mishaps etc. After family tragedy, would-be ballerina Megan (Shoshana Bush) attends a showbizzy inner-city Musical High School and strikes up interracial romance with Thomas (Damon Wayans Jr.), a classmate whose "crew" participates in dance-offs at the nearby Club Violence. Team Wayans have some fun with the cliches, like one young thug so at-risk he literally has guns for hands. Fans who wait for home-video they can freeze-frame on gags like the acceptance letter to "Jus' Community College." Still, sticking to hip-hop seems to have left a number of potential juicy targets out in the cold; no mocking Footloose, Shall We Dance, Dirty Dancing, not even Rent. Nor is there any poking fun at the painfully-obvious use of body doubles for the overblown dance numbers, as Keenan Ivory Wayans once did with stuntmen in his breakthrough blaxploitation mockery I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. For the Wayans at their best, check out the archived episodes of the In Living Color TV show on DVD. ** (Charles Cassady Jr.)

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