September 10, 2006

Dancing In The Streets

Ever since sitting through the lamiosity that was Step Up, Cinecultist has been thinking about all the much better high school dancing musicals we've loved. Our first favorite in this genre was probably Fame, so we popped it onto the Netflix queue. When it arrived in the mail earlier this week, we actually held off on seeing it right away so that we could savor its awesomeness on Saturday afternoon, nestled deep in the couch post morning yoga class. Ironically, Entertainment Weekly also had high school movies on the brain this week, publishing their top 50 list, with our recent rental coming in at #42.

If like Cinecultist it's been many, many years since you've enjoyed the high kicking, '80s excess of Fame, we highly recommend a re-watch. It's a bit like American Idol only with less pop gloss, as we follow a group of high school from audition to graduation at the Performing Arts High School in New York. Our two favorite characters are probably Coco, because as played by Irene Cara she has a spectacular screen presence, and Doris (Maureen Teefy), because we always love the awkward, smart Jewish girls. But of course the best scene involves music student Bruno Martelli (Lee Curreri). His proud working class papa gets a hold of one of Bruno's slammin' homemade tapes which he broadcasts from his cab on the street outside the school. The kids stream out of the doors and take their dance party to the midst of Times Square traffic, which is completely silly yet totally joyful and exuberant. See the clip in the YouTube window above.

As for EW's list, we'd first like to point out that we've seen all but 9 of the flicks listed. CC thinks that's a little bit impressive, when it comes to a pretty solid genre overview. But we don't think we'd put The Breakfast Club at the top of the heap. While it was one of the first movies we ever owned on VHS, it really wasn't ever a flick CC truly loved. It's mighty entertaining but we never identified with the characters the way we did with other John Hughes creations like Some Kind of Wonderful (which isn't even on the list) and Sixteen Candles (only #49). If we want to get analytical about why, it's probably the awkward, smart girl factor. How can CC really bond with Ally Sheedy when there's so much to love in Mary Stuart Masterson's Watts and Molly Ringwald's Sam Baker.

Posted by karen at September 10, 2006 12:09 PM