The Family Who Shticks Together
Don't worry -- I don't get it either.
Much like this half-assed joke, the form of lazy parody relied upon in Dance Flick is also evident in many of the earlier Wayans films. In a sense, it's difficult to fault the Wayans, on principle, for continuing to fall back upon this form of humor. After all, the very first Scary Movie managed to please most audiences, and, until just recently, even the most banal parodies were rewarded at the box office. Further, there's really no use in griping about the lack of originality in these parody films, for Hollywood has already largely begun to rely on remakes, reboots, and adaptations. Hell, one may as well just do away with the expectation of original stories altogether, but, damn it, the purpose of a parody film is to be funny, and the Wayans ain't bringing it here.
This brings us to their latest crapfest. Dance Flick, after its introductory round of one character peeing upon another, focuses on ballet dancer Megan White (Shoshana Bush), who loses her mother in the film's highly insensitive portrayal of a freakish car accident. Megan has no choice but to leave home and go live with her deadbeat father, Ron (Chris Elliott, honorary Wayans). As the new white girl at a primarily black Musical High School (where students do, in fact, spontaneously break out in song), she finds a dance mentor and romantic interest in Thomas Uncles (Damon Wayans Jr.), who helps her chase her Juilliard dreams and a little somethin' extra. A little help comes from the school dance instructor, a Ms. Cameltoé (Amy Sedaris, nooooooo), whose leotard defies the film's PG-13 rating. Somehow, Megan endures all this and ends up teaming up with new BFF Charity (Essence Atkins) and Thomas for the all-important dance-off against the city's rival dance troupe. To complicate matters, Thomas owes money to a drug dealer named Sugar Bear (David Alan Grier), who sings various showtunes while wearing the obligatory parody fat suit, and single mother Charity needs to coordinate childcare with school and dance practice. Her solution? Hang the baby in her locker during classes.
After about 85 minutes, Dance Flick mercifully reaches its end, but, in the process, it lacks no subtlety in alluding to the High School Musical franchise, Black Snake Moan, Hairspray, Little Miss Sunshine, and (who could forget) How She Stepped Up, Stomped the Yard, and Got Served 2. In its quest for riotous laughter Dance Flick consists entirely of insanely stupid one-liners and humor based upon bodily functions as well as racial and sexual stereotypes. It is an insanely stupid experience to behold.
Despite my better judgment, I will reveal that a couple of actual semi-amusing moments do occur within this otherwise worthless film. Naturally, I couldn't help but laugh when a Zac Efron-esque character (portrayed by Brennan Hillard), torn between his twin loves of basketball and theater (i.e., sweaty guys vs. jazz hands), belts out a rather marvelous set of lyrics: "Flame! I wanna be gay forever!" Yet, my admitted appreciation of this rather tasteless turn of song is solely due to my pain in witnessing the original. As such, only two reasons exist for watching Dance Flick: (1) You've already sat through enough Zac Efron films to choke a thinly-closeted chicken and demand catharsis; (2) You've either purposely or accidentally eaten your roommate's pot brownies. Be forewarned that, whichever the case, you'll still hate yourself afterward.
Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at agentbedhead.com.
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