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Parents' Guide to

Center Stage: Turn It Up

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Entertaining dance-focused romance has some mature themes.

Movie PG-13 2009 95 minutes
Center Stage: Turn It Up Poster Image

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CENTER STAGE: TURN IT UP works the dance romance genre with a surefootedness that's unexpected -- a family-friendly Black Swan for a younger crowd, with none of the macabre. There's great chemistry between the leads, great pop and hip-hop music selection, and a deft handling of mature themes among young adults that the film works hard to depict as ethical, driven, and ambitious, but still young enough to make mistakes.

But for kids aiming to make it as artists, it offers a lot of strong messages about the challenges of competing against the best, as opposed to being really good where you're from. It shows rivals and conflicts realistically, and, a plus for girls, especially, shows a headstrong, talented (and working class) woman who eschews the typical distractions of young adulthood (drinking, boys, loafing) to focus on her art. That said, it romanticizes big city living and ambition to a fault, and parents should be prepared to temper the movie's ending with a realistic discussion of the real odds of an untrained ballerina snagging a lead at a prestigious Broadway show with no formal training.

Movie Details

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