Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

If this movie ‘Dance Flick’ fails, Director Damien Wayans and the Wayans family, a group of people which I believe constitutes 35% of the population of the state of New York, can personally thank Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg for this failure. If you aren’t familiar with the names of those two gentlemen then that’s great for you but if you do know the ‘comedy’ team of Seltzer and Friedberg like we know them then you are well aware this duo has singlehandedly atomic bombed the ‘spoof’ genre. Probably forever. Mind you this is not a genre without some history or legacy my friends, mined with hard work, sweat equity and comic precision by the likes of Mel Brooks and the Zucker brothers and don’t get me started on the near genius of Damon Wayans own ‘I’m Gonna Git you Sucka’. And while the whole ‘Scary Movie’ series didn’t help the genre all that much it also didn’t hurt it either… but then came ‘Date Movie’ and a string of other gawdawful Seltzer / Friedberg money making turds and thus a proud genre is destroyed. Kind of like what my main man Matthew McConaughey is doing to the Romantic Comedy right about now. Nonetheless here we are with a new generation of Wayans and it’s not like the Wayans are going to be remaking ‘Pride and Prejudice’ anytime soon so they gotta do what they know how to do and this leads us to ‘Dance Flick’. Since the genre has been murdered it needs something almost magical to resuscitate it, and while ‘Dance Flick’ certainly had its moments… alas… the genre is still dead.

Meet Thomas Uncles as played by Damon Wayans Jr. Upon looking at Damon Wayans Jr. one wonders if a woman was even involved in the birthing of this young man or did Damon Wayans simply cut off a tip of his finger and have himself cloned. Anyway, Thomas is a dancing fool in a dance off with his boy A-Con (Affion Crockett) which unfortunately ends in a tragic accident for one of their crew members and ultimately has Thomas and his crew getting served. The problem is that local over-weight gangster Sugar Bear (David Alan Grier) fronted them cheese for this competition and now he wants his cheddar back. It’s one of the movies running jokes.

Somewhere else on the planet Meghan White is practicing for her Julliard dance tryout until tragedy strikes forcing Meghan to move to the big dirty city with her destitute father (Chris Elliott) and enroll at Music High School, the toughest Music school in the city. At the school Meghan becomes tight buddies with Thomas’ single mother sister Charity played by Essence Atkins, and though some may question Ms. Atkins playing a high school student at the tender age of thirty seven, Essence was looking so good in this movie that personally we didn’t give a damn.

Eventually Meghan and Thomas become one through dance despite the objections of… nobody really, as Thomas helps Meghan get her dance mojo back and Meghan in return doesn’t help Thomas with much of anything, as everyone else pokes fun at just about everything in sight, at least within the safe confines of a PG-13 rating along the way to some kind of glorious final dance off. Outstanding.

Attempting to describe ‘Dance Flick’ is really an exercise in futility because it’s really about nothing except the sketch comedy bits and pop culture cracks with the ‘story’ simply being there to get us from one set of jokes to the next. The bad part about this particular spoofing style is that it falls in line with the afore mentioned style of the absolutely putrid ‘Date Movie’ and its successors whose names we refuse to mention. Personally I prefer my spoofs to have some basis of storytelling say like ‘Blazing Saddles’ or ‘The Naked Gun’ and while I’m not crazy about the style of the ‘Dance Flick’ spoof it does have the advantage of being made by people who are actually funny.

Yep, ‘Dance Flick’ did make me laugh on numerous occasions as it took its cues from various movies such as ‘Fame’, ‘Save the Last Dance’, ‘Twilight’, ‘You Got Served’, ‘Step Up’ and ‘Dreamgirls’ among others. If you happen to a be starlet who can’t drive you got it pretty good too, and we’re talking to you Ms. Berry and Ms. Lohan though Brandy’s inability to control an automobile did end up in somebody being dead so I don’t how funny that is. Again it is rated PG-13 so the Wayans couldn’t go all out to offend, though they did what they could with people getting pissed on and Amy Sedaris’ inspired performance as dance instructor Ms. Cameltoe. That’s the French pronunciation for Cameltoe. Since it is a Wayans movie, all the family members that I’m aware of make some kind of appearance, except for Damon for some reason, and since it is a series of skits not all of those skits are going to be funny.

But enough of the jokes were funny for me to qualify ‘Dance Flick’ as a legitimately funny movie. It was nowhere close to being ‘Naked Gun’ funny or ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’ funny, movies that folks were running up and down the aisle slapping people upside the head funny, but it had its moments. However the genre is still dead and ‘Dance Flick’ didn’t have what it would’ve taken to bring it back to life.

Real Time Web