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Step Up

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
Step Up
from Film Forum, 08/17/06

Dirty Dancing. Take the Lead. A Chorus Line. Footloose. Center Stage. Shall We Dance? Save the Last Dance. Strictly Ballroom.

Nobody needs to convince Hollywood that movies about dancing are popular. But somebody needs to inspire screenwriters to write more interesting and original scripts about dancers.

In Step Up, a charismatic kid from Baltimore (Channing Tatum) proves that hip-hop and classical dancing can mix when he pursues a dancer of a different stripe (Jenna Dewan). Gee … do you think they'll fall in love?

"[T]he story could not be more worn—we never for a moment doubt how things will turn out," writes Christopher Lyon (Plugged In). "Even a third act tragedy arrives right on cue to move things along to the big finish."

Lyon reports that the film includes "a few nice character moments" and a lot of dancing. And he concludes by applauding the filmmakers for "steering their characters clear of any apparent sexual involvement, and for making an effort to pirouette away from MTV-style hyper-sexual grinding on the dance floor."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) calls it a "formulaic, but relatively clean, teen romance … buoyed by some lively dance sequences … and appealing performances."

Mainstream critics say Step Up "lands on its keister."