Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Ultimate Feel-Good Film

Nothing makes a very depressing evening worse than a forcefully cheery film. So throw in a feel-good movie and forget how emo you are!

Sixteen Candles is like a window into my soul.
P.S. This is now the official image of emo for this blog.

As for feel-good films, in order to find those truly inspiring, magically cheesy examples of smile-inducing perfection, you have to go back to the post-90s world of the year 2000. On May 12, 2000, a film was released into a world that was unprepared for such a musically emotional epic. That epic was called Center Stage (sorry, they were American). Center Stage is the story of Jodie Sawyer, an aspiring dancer whose dreams begin to fly after she is admitted to the American Ballet Academy.

Not like this.

And thus begins our adventure. I won't go too far into detail, but I will say this: EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH THIS MOVIE. Though the cast isn't exactly the Milky Way (read: not star-studded), the acting is fantastic. Although the true draw is the incredible dancing. Center Stage is like Save the Last Dance without as much emo bullshit and with a way better ending.

There have been many dance movies released within the last 30 years (ex// Saturday Night Fever, Footloose, Save the Last Dance, Step Up, Honey, Dirty Dancing, Flashdance, Fame), but very few have been classified as truly great inspirational films. That's because they didn't have the right formula. So what is the right formula?

Close, but no. Though this formula is integral
to the survival of the film industry.

So on to the blueprints! This is how you make a successful, feel-good, dance movie.

1. Actually focus on, and show, some dancing. Preferably for more than 5 minutes and more than just once.
2. Save the drama for your secondary characters. Don't focus on a major drama in the main character's life; this is a feel-good film. The main character's major drama should not be the movie's majorest drama.
3. Make the dancing the issue. Is the main character a great dancer being oppressed by The Man?

Wrong man.

Maybe the main character wants to dance, but something is holding him/her back (example, one too many twinkies -- Hairspray is a great example of breaking the anorexia scale)?
4. Have a love triangle. Nothing too over the top, just have two guys/girls interested in the main character. And make sure one is a total bitch.
5. The true key to a successful feel-good film is to have all interpersonal issues resolved by the end. The bitch learns a valuable lesson and joins the ranks of the Scooby Gang. The dick ex-boyfriend/girlfriend gets rejected but doesn't get shafted (kinky). The evil antagonist gets pretty much the same as the evil ex. And the plucky attitude of the principle rag-tag group of friends pays off. Everyone ends up happy. Feel-GOOD.

So what have we learned? Dance movies suck. With one exception.

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