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Let's Dance

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
Let's Dance Movie Poster Image
Dance competition drama has some sex, language.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 109 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Follow your dreams. Art and inspiration exist all around us.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A young dancer believes in himself and his fellow dancers enough to leave his French town for the big hip-hop competition in Paris.

Violence

One dancer punches another for stealing his girl. A dancer falls during rehearsal and injures herself painfully.

Sex

A man and woman kiss. A couple is seen seemingly after they've spent the night together. Two gay men are about to kiss but are interrupted. A grandmother recounts the story of having sex when she was young with the man who would become her husband.

Language

"F--k," "s--t," "ass," "scumbags," "balls," and "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Let's Dance follows several young French hip-hop and ballet dancers as they practice together and inspire each other, readying for auditions and competitions against all odds. Such themes are commonly on display in many movies about football, debating, gymnastics, and dance, but they often target kids and young teens. With language and a certain sexual frankness (although there's no nudity or on-screen sex), this may be more appropriate for an older teen audience. Kissing. Characters smoke and drink. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," and "balls." In French with English subtitles.

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What's the story?

In LET'S DANCE, Joseph (Rayane Bensetti) is the son the son of a ballet dancer and a roofer. Determined to compete in a major hip-hop competition, he suddenly leaves his French town for Paris to make his mark. His best friend and collaborator Karim (Meddi Kerkouche) and his dancer girlfriend Emma (Fiorella Campanella) come along. Emma's relationship with a hip-hop judge Youri (Brahim Zaibat) gets them into the competition, but also breaks up Emma and Joseph. Heartbroken, Joseph punches Youri, which gets him tossed from their dance group. He forms another, still yearning to win the competition, but realizes he knows nothing about choreography. He imposes on his mother's ex-husband, Remi (Guillaume de Tonquedec), the head of a ballet school, who lets him and Karim crash at his enormous apartment. In exchange, Joseph must teach at the ballet school, which Remi hopes will shake Joseph up artistically and inspire him to greater creative heights. There Joseph and ballerina Chloe (Alexia Giordana) make both and artistic and romantic connections and help each other achieve their goals.

Is it any good?

This is a lively take on a familiar theme, but the high quality of the writing, direction, and performances, added to a general artistic enlightenment, make this a cut above the usual. Both Rayane Bensetti as Joseph and Alexia Girodana as Chloe provide attractive leads.  Guillaume de Tonquebec, as the older and wiser Remi, gives Let's Dance a grounding in responsible yet soaring artistic dedication. The only disappointment is that while the drama focuses on dancers finding ways to stand out from the generic crowd  of competitors and discovering dance inspiration in the everyday movement all around, the resulting choreography remains pretty unexciting, even as the performers do their best to put it across.     

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how difficult it can be to make it in the arts. Why do you think certain people want to perform? What gratification do you imagine performers get from doing their work and having it appreciated?

  • How do you think a person knows if he or she is good enough at something to pursue it professionally?

  • In Let's Dance, Remi suggests that you can find art and inspiration in everyday life if you keep your eyes open and look for it. Can you think of things you see around you that could be art?  

Movie details

For kids who love dance

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