A musical, comedic, under dog story with dancing…this sounded like it was right up my street. .  I loved this, it was just the right kind of happy to brighten my day!

Certificate: PG

Director: Elissa Down

Screenwriter: Michael Armbruster, Shawn Ku

Starring: Sofia Carson, Pamela MacDonald, Sonia Laplante

Genre: Comedy, Music

Runtime: 109 Minutes

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

After failing to find success on Broadway, and having a less than flattering video of herself go viral, April returns to her small hometown and reluctantly agrees d to train a misfit group of young dancers for a big competition, in the hopes that performing in front of a prestigious judge will win her a spot back in a major production.

There is a lot about this film that will make the choosier viewer roll their eyes and exclaim that they have seen this done a thousand times before.  And they would probably be right.  But we all love an underdog story and films like this just have a certain formula that works and that can give you a great boost of happiness, right to the soul.  And mood boosting happiness is something that this film has in droves.  There is no way you get to the end of this film without a huge smile on your face.

I loved watching all the dance numbers in the competition, always the best part of any competition themed film for sure.  And then it is also great to see how far the New Hope Girls, and boy, from the first competition to the last.  I mean of course they were going to improve ten fold and be one of the standout performances of the whole competition, or their would be a heart warming story to be told, but it was still great to see their characters and their dancing progress.

Speaking of character progression, Sofia Carson plays April, our leading lady and although her story is telegraphed from the very opening scenes and we know that by the end of it she is going to have learnt a bunch of valuable lessons, and really experienced some intense personal growth, and even though her romance subplot seems like something straight off the hallmark channel, I still enjoyed watching her change throughout the film with the help of her sassy dance troupe.

But lets be real now, as much as I enjoyed this a whole lot, it isn’t exactly a new idea.  Everything ere has been done a hundred times before.  And just because it is a tried and tested method, doesn’t mean that the creators couldn’t have maybe taken a few more risks, or added a twist to the story.  I don’t know if the supposed ‘Diversity’ of her dance troupe (including a deaf girl, a girl who can’t dance, a black girl from a poorer background, and her ex-boyfriends sister) was supposed to be the thing that made this film stand apart, but if it was, it was a pretty weak attempt to make this film different from the hundred of like minded films that came before it.

It won’t rock your world, but if you love a good underdog story, or are a fan of dance films in general, then you may find something here to your liking.

Feel the Beat is streaming now on Netflix!