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Review By: Andrea Tuccillo
Twirling in the same class as Save the Last Dance and Dirty Dancing, Step Up is the latest dance-floor romance to hit the big screen. We’ve seen it all before, guy from the wrong side of the tracks connects with girl through the power of dancing. They sway to the rhythm, their hips move in unison, the feelings they have for each other culminate in a big, crowd-pleasing dance number. As cheesy as that all sounds, this type of movie always seems to sweep me off my feet!
My taste for a good dance flick probably comes from the years of lessons I took when I was younger—the fascination has always stuck with me. I enjoyed watching the leaps, lifts, turns and jumps of Step Up just as I have enjoyed the other similar movies that have come before it. Heck, I even liked Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights! But that’s beside the point.
Step Up wisely uses actors who are actually talented dancers, as well. They performed all of their own moves (no cutaway shots or body doubles like in Save the Last Dance). It added to the film’s authenticity and the dance sequences flow much better because of it.
So what’s this film about besides dancing, you ask? Um, does it really matter? Admittedly, it’s not very compelling stuff. Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum, HOT new golden boy from She’s the Man) is a foster child from the rough side of Baltimore who seems content on living a life of parties, petty theft and reckless vandalism. When he gets caught trashing a private performing arts school with some of his buddies, he gets sentenced to community service cleaning the school for several hours each day.
While mopping, scrubbing and taking out the garbage, Tyler spies Nora (newcomer and former P.Diddy back-up dancer Jenna Dewan), a driven dance student with a wannabe pop star boyfriend (Josh Henderson). Jenna’s been working hard choreographing her “Senior Showcase,” a dance number she hopes will get her recruited by a dance company after she graduates. It’s her one dream, but it’s falling apart. Her male partner hurt his ankle and can no longer practice so she needs someone to fill in ASAP. Too bad no one half-way decent is available. But wait! Tyler’s been caught busting a move or two, and he actually seems pretty good. Granted his moves are more street than stage, but Nora desperately agrees to make him her temporary partner as a last resort.
As she teaches him her classical routine, he infuses some of his hip-hop mentality