Strictly Ballroom Movie Review

Movie Review by Anthony Leong © Copyright 1997

Laz Buhrmann's earlier work, about the people who are willing to sell their souls, turn their back on their love, and make deals with the devil to win "The Pan-Pacific Grand Prix Ballroom Dancing Latin Competition". Scott, a young hot-shot wants to win the competition dancing his own unique steps, but his family, his dance partner, and the dreaded Dance Federation oppose him at every turn. When his dance partner leaves him for a competitor, he teams up with Fran, an ugly-duckling beginner, and together they discover latin rhythms and their love for one another. If this movie sounds absurd, it is, which makes it so much fun to watch. The beginning opens up with a 60-minutes like interview and a flashback to a competition where Scott was disqualified-- his mother weeps ("was I not a good mother??!?"), his dance instructor describes Scott's mistake in clinical terms ("he was what we call 'blocked' or 'boxed-in', but it was no excuse for what he did next"), and his partner coveys her helplessness ("I had no choice... where the man goes, the woman must follow"). The soundtrack is excellent-- at the end, you'll find a whole new appreciation for Doris Day and "Love is in the Air". A must-see romantic comedy.

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