OK, so generic dance moves really are a dime a dozen, but every now and then, one of them has to be a stand out right? Is it this one?
Director: Laura Terruso
Screenwriter: Alison Peck
Starring: Sabrina Carpenter, Jordan Fisher, Keiynan Lonsdale
Genre: Comedy, Dance
Runtime: 93 Minutes
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
Quinn Ackermann has spent her whole life panning to go to Duke University, the same school her late father attended. She has perfect grades, a litany of extra-curriculars and a host of volunteering credentials. Which means that she is just like every other college applicant her age. To stand out she may have told the admissions officer that she was part of her high schools award winning dance team, who are going to be performing at a competition the officer will be attending in a few months’ time. Only catch, Quinn can’t dance. When she fails an audition to actually join the team, she improvises and forms her own dance team, and finds out a few things about herself along the way.
Dance movies are part of most peoples guilty pleasures. They nearly always follow a very specific pattern, and because of that they are usually incredibly predictable from the very beginning. And sadly one of the things that was most disappointing about ‘Work It’ was that it followed this exact formula. Earlier this year I watched and loved ‘Feel the Beat’ on Netflix which I praised for it’s interesting and varied cast and witty dialogue. ‘Work It’ has neither of those things. Everything about it was so very generic.
There is never any doubt that Quinn is going to magically find that dancing is something that was missing from her life the whole time. And that she was going to surprisingly turn out to be a fantastic dancer. A fact the film tries to hide underneath her book smarts and ridiculously dowdy clothes. But the way that she instantly went from uncoordinated smart girl, to being able to keep up with a world leading choreographer was a little ridiculous, even for a film as cheesy and mainstream as this. Stamping library books taught her to find the beat in music? Of course it did
Most of the other members of the dance team are merely there to fill out the numbers. We learn literally nothing about them save for their names. Quinn’s mother is portrayed as controlling and demanding and none of the other characters really have all that much personality at all.
The dance numbers are pretty good, but all seem to be a pretty similar style and using the same genre of music, so the dance scenes didn’t really have that much variety. They were fun to watch, and the soundtrack was OK, but I got bored of the style after a while.
If dance films are your thing, then this is a film made with all the elements you are meant to enjoy. If you are looking for something mindless to watch to pass the time that is merely going to go in one ear and out the other, this is also a good choice. Otherwise, tis is nothing special and you have probably seen this film fifty times before.