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Parents' Guide to

Dancing Queens

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Woman joins drag queen group; some strong language.

Movie NR 2021 110 minutes
Dancing Queens Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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There's a lot to like about this Swedish movie, but some choices hold it back. Dancing Queens has a lot going for it (solid acting, fun dance numbers, a happy and supportive cast featuring queer roles), but it falls short in a number of ways. Certainly, there's a degree of charm, humor, and positivity about the film. It has heart and is working toward a more accepting world. Early on, main character Dylan calls out another man's sexist comment about his wife enjoying being in the kitchen. Later, a young man comes out to his parents, who react supportively. People are open to learning. And there's no conflict.

The movie means well, as does Dylan, but it also doesn't do anything to really push the genre to new and/or interesting places, nor does it really say anything about drag culture, drag representation, or gender generally, and for some, it could feel a bit touristy. While Dylan's secret does lead to a very brief commentary about the overall performativity of gender, the exploration is shallow. To be clear, Dylan, a cisgender, straight White woman, pretends to be a man who also identifies as a drag queen. This film is completely Dylan's story, and the other dancers are only supporting characters who immediately like Dylan and back her only, it seems, because she can dance. This speaks to how there arguably isn't enough difference in the supporting cast of dancers, both in conception and in performance. Another way this manifests is in how little drama there actually is in this film. Everyone is nice, supportive, happy (except for Dylan), encouraging, understanding, and accepting of Dylan. Which brings up another point: Beyond Dylan's incredible dance skills, what about her exactly is so attractive? She's gloomy, sullen, quiet, and odd, and it isn't exactly clear why everyone thinks she's so great.

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