Step Up, Down, Back and Repeat
Friday night, a tub of ice cream and a bit of Save the Last Dance 2 on DVD – that’s a good time right there.
It’s the predictability of them that I find comforting. Whether it’s Step Up, Step Up 2: The Streets, Save the Last Dance or its sequel, you can rest assured that they all have pretty much the same story line. You can’t get too lost. Here are the most important factors:
Lead character with troubled past
Check. The lead should either be from the hood/wrong side of the tracks or have had some sort of family tragedy (preferably the death of a parent) that has led them to pursue their craft with the upmost gusto. It goes without saying that the power of the dance is the only thing that keeps them going.
Many-a-club dance off
I don’t know where the hell this club is, but it’s unlike any club you’ve ever known. The floor has trampolines and shit in it so people can execute previously unimaginable dance stylings. Also, while the people milling around in the club may all look like strangers, they’re really all part of rival dance crews and when the right record comes on, they will divide and conquer.
Most dance movies take place in the Bizarro-America when there is racial harmony. The club they go to is a veritable United Colors of Beneton. Black and white all party together. This does not happen in the real world America. But while they create that fantasy world for the club scenes, they keep the racial stereotyping alive on a character level. ‘Angry Black Chick’ always makes an appearance and is usually hating on ‘Vulnerable White Girl’ because she gets ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks Black Dude’. But in the end ‘Angry Black Chick’ forgives ‘Vulnerable White Girl’ for being a man stealing ho and all is right with the world.
The Final Performance
The end you’re always waiting for. ‘Vulnerable White Chick’ finds her strength and her pointe shoes and takes to the stage/club dance floor for one last hurrah. Everything in her life depends on it and it’s quite possible that peace in the middle east and an end to the genocide in Darfur also hang in the balance. She takes all the moves she learned from ‘Angry Black Chick’ and ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks Black Dude’ and combines them with her fifth grade ballet recital steps. The judges love it and bob their heads out of time to the hip hop beats as ‘Wrong Side of the Tracks Black Dude’ beams with pride in the wings. In the end, she gets into the school of her dreams and gets all the street cred a white chick from Delaware can possibly get. She’s queen bitch.
And there you have it. Combine all those factors with a soundtrack by Neyo or whoever has replaced him as the hottest shit in town and you’ve got yourself a hit.