What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Musical Chairs is an inspiring drama about a ballroom dancer who must pick up the pieces of her life after a car crash leaves her in a wheelchair. At first she refuses to even think that she'll have much of a life, but a fellow dancer's devotion helps her realize that she can live -- and love. There's some smoking and a discussion about selling pot, plus some moderate swearing (including infrequent use of "f--k" and "p---y"), as well as some flirting and kissing. A transsexual character discusses her artificial breasts.
What's the story?
Mia (Leah Pipes) is training for a national ballroom competition until a tragic accident leaves her in a wheelchair. Crushed and despondent, she wallows in self-pity, convinced that her life might as well be over; and her dance partner and boyfriend suddenly is too busy to stop by to visit. Enter Armando (E.J. Bonilla), the custodian at the dance studio who's been nursing a secret crush on Mia. Armando helps her realize that life goes on, if only she'll choose to participate. And the key to motivating Mia is the upcoming ballroom dance competition for people in wheelchairs.
Is it any good?
MUSICAL CHAIRS is uplifting, but so very formulaic. Bonilla has charisma, and he can certainly move, but every step he takes seems lifted from the standard-issue overcoming-adversity script. Supporting cast of quirky underdogs? Check. Second-act complication that threatens to derail both romance and Mia's path to recovery? Check. Training montage? Yep. And a dramatic finale where the main characters, against all odds, manage to shine. What do you think?
Still, fans of dance movies and/or uplifting tales -- especially those on the younger side who aren't already jaded about this kind of story -- may find it an entertaining escape.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Mia's attitude. Do you think her reaction to her injury seems realistic? How would you feel if you ended up in a wheelchair? Do you think you might act like her?
Does Musical Chairs follow a standard "overcoming adversity" formula? Can you think of any films that are structured similarly to this one? Why is this kind of story appealing?
|Theatrical release date:||March 23, 2012|
|DVD/Streaming release date:||October 27, 2014|
|Cast:||E.J. Bonilla, Leah Pipes, Priscilla Lopez|
|Studios:||Dream Dance Films, Paladin|
|Topics:||Arts and dance, Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models|
|Run time:||101 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||language, some sexual material and a brief drug reference|