Let’s take every single dance movie ever made and name some of the cliches:
- Male and female from very different backgrounds somehow drawn together through desperate circumstances
- Difficult dance teachers who are only so tough because they want their student to realize their full potential
- Rich dancer who thinks they are better than everybody else in both dance and life
- The unlikely dance duo overcomes all obstacles in an amazing showcase that shocks and surprises everyone
- Dancers then receive a standing ovation (or other cinematic equivalent) while rich dancer eats crow
So if I had to describe the latest dance/music movie, High Strung, coming to the big screen in one word, I’d definitely say predictable.
If I had to describe this latest movie in two words, I’d say beautifully predictable.
I used to think a predictable and cliched movie wasn’t even worth watching but after watching High Strung, I take it back.
Why do chicks like chick flicks? Because we love happy endings. And that’s what you’ll get with High Strung. But what makes it especially likable is the characters.
Ruby (Keenan Kampa) is a beautiful dancer new to New York City on a scholarship to Manhattan Conservatory of the Arts. She excels in ballet but struggles in modern dance. She’s too stiff and has trouble letting go.
She meets Johnny (Nicholas Galatzine), the British eccentric who refuses to conform to musical standards at a stuffy place like a conservatory, preferring instead to showcase his art in the New York subway.
As you might imagine, sparks fly between Ruby and Johnny as they each have something to learn from one another. It’s not until they come together at the String & Dance Competition with their blend of modern and traditional style that we get our chance to stand and applaud (or slow clap, your choice).
The most unexpected part was that the acting was very good. Not only were the characters (and I assume, the actors) talented dancers and musicians but they were good actors as well. In fact, I’d love to see the stars in something else (a Twilight remake?).
You will see a few familiar faces. Well, okay, only two familiar faces. Jane Seymour plays the tough contemporary dance instructor. And in one subway scene, you see someone heading up the stairs to exit the station and he turns around and looks at the camera. He looked so familiar!
Turns out the guy was Michael Damian, best known for his starring role on “The Young and the Restless.” It also turns out he directed, wrote, and produced the film.
So who is this movie for? People who like dance movies, people who appreciate classical music, people who like happy endings. Moms and daughters, this is a great girls night out for you! (I might have even caught my son watching it over his shoulder).
High Strung opens in theaters on April 8th but you’ll find it’s in limited release so be sure to check Fandango for your closest theater.
This post has been sponsored and I received an advance screener link to watch the film in its entirety. All thoughts and opinions are my own.