A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this lowbrow comedy is much raunchier than the teen-friendly dance movies it's spoofing. There's lots of gross-out humor, including a character's head literally going up his butt, a fat man squashing a thinner man in a dance battle, and more. Sexuality includes references to teen pregnancy, penis size, baby daddies/mommas, and pole dancing; a couple also kisses and has off-camera sex. The violence is obviously fake and cartoonish; language ranges from "damn" to "s--t" but isn't extreme.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
DANCE FLICK -- like all of the spoof "flicks" before it -- weaves a loose plot around parodying dozens of dance-themed movies (Save the Last Dance, Step Up, Fame, Stomp the Yard, and many more). When aspiring ballet dancer Megan (Shoshanna Bush) loses her mother in a predictable car accident, she moves to Chicago and gives up her dream of attending Juilliard. She quickly hooks up with Thomas (Damon Wayans Jr.), a hip-hop dancer at her performing arts high school. He helps her get her groove back, and she helps save him from getting killed for losing a street dancing competition.
Is it any good?
Good for the Wayans family. The brothers (now in their 40s and 50s) have passed the teen-spoof mantle to the next generation, which includes actors Damon Jr., producer Craig, and director Damien Dante Wayans. The old guard still shows up in various roles, as do family friends/veteran comedians David Alan Grier (as a morbidly obese character that's part Fat Bastard, part Fat Albert) and Amy Sedaris (as an anatomically disproportioned dance teacher named Ms. Cameltoé).
While the raunch is subdued compared to the Scary Movie franchise that the elder Wayans launched, it's still gross enough to attract teens and repel older audiences. The comedy works best when it's kept simple -- poking fun at the politics of interracial relationships, teen musicals, or the stupidity of nightclub violence (the nightspot is literally called Club Violence). But the scatological stuff has been done so many times that it's just not that funny anymore. Let's hope the younger Wayans branch out beyond spoofs and try something less broad and predictable for their next project.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's over-the-top, nonstop style of parody. Are all of the movie references funny, or does the sheer number lessen the comedic impact?
The movie casually mocks interracial relationships and teen pregnancy, but is either situation all that humorous?
Is this style of spoof still relevant?