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Thursday, 10 April 2008

How She Move

It's easy to spot a decent dance movie: it's the movie that's full of dancing. It might sound obvious - and that's because it is - but time and time and time again movie-makers forget that audiences have come to see dancing and not endless scenes where a bunch of grimly urban types sulk around letting us know that it's tough out there on the streets and the only way to survive is to do a bunch of choreographed dance movies with your homies. Which is a long way of saying that How She Move doesn't contain anywhere near enough scenes in which our heroine does, in fact, move.

Kicked out of private school because her parents spent all the tuition money on trying to keep her junkie sister alive - guess what, they failed - Raya (Rutina Wesley) returns home to the projects, where everyone hates her because that's how they roll. Eventually she makes some friends, only then they start hating her again, then they don't, then there's a big dance competition called Step Monster, and the movie Step Monster was a dozen times better than this movie and it didn't have any dancing in it at all. The problem is simple: nowhere near enough dancing, and way too many scenes dragging things down as characters hate on each other for reasons that seem more than a little blurry. Even the traditional "my parents don't understand that I need to dance!" subplot doesn't work here, mostly because the mum is so angry and negative that she'd hate anything her daughter wanted to do up to and including taking a bath. And if all that isn't reason enough to steer clear, the title's bad english. Avoid.

Anthony Morris (this review appeared in Forte #423)

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