Lovestruck: The Musical
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's a very sexy feel to Lovestruck: The Musical, even if the exchanges between couples are kept to minimal kissing and embracing. A bachelorette party turns into a confessional with women talking about losing their virginity in their teens, a man tells a woman that he fell in love with her ass, and some of the dance segments feature scantily clad women (one whole routine is performed in skimpy bikinis) and suggestive moves to songs like "Like a Virgin." Expect some sporadic language as well ("ass," "hell," "damn") and questionable messages in Harper's selfish intentions. On the other hand, the movie deserves points for bringing a unique (if slightly farfetched) premise to the saturated romcom genre, and there's a lot that's funny about Harper's recapturing her youth. Dynamic song-and-dance segments and a fantastic (and heavily promoted) soundtrack are the high points of this mostly predictable romantic comedy.
What's the story?
Legendary dancer Harper (Jane Seymour) had to settle for directing choreography when her career was cut short by a knee injury, but she's living vicariously through her talented daughter, Mirabella (Sara Paxton), who's slated to star in her upcoming show. But Mirabella has other plans, jetting off to Italy to marry her handsome fiancé, Marco (Alexander DiPersia), who's sworn off his playboy persona to be with Mirabella. Harper sets out to sabotage the wedding by proving that Marco can't be trusted, and her scheming takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious elixir recalls her long-lost youth and allows her to assume the identity of Mirabella's distant cousin (Chelsea Kane), infiltrate the wedding party, and play upon Marco's weakness for women. In the process, she discovers that Marco's intentions are pure, but not before the damage has been done to Mirabella's faith in him. It will take some quick thinking, some help from her savvy ex-husband, Ryan (Tom Wopat), and a little magic to set things right in time for the wedding, and in time to heal the long-suffering bond between mother and daughter.
Is it any good?
LOVESTRUCK: THE MUSICAL has two things going for it: a talented cast and a knockout soundtrack that blends the old and the new with music from Usher, Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. And don't think that the studio isn't aware of the marketing power there; the tracks were available on iTunes long before the movie's TV debut. What's more, the cast milks the story for every last drop of entertainment, especially when it comes to those breakout musical numbers that showcase superb dancing from the entire cast, especially Dancing With the Stars alum Chelsea Kane, whose dance floor duet with Drew Seeley (as Younger Ryan) is a joy to behold.
Unfortunately the lackluster plot doesn't do full justice to its players' talents, though, and it stumbles through predictability and romcom clichés like Marco's struggles to express himself and Mirabella's subsequent fretting over his true feelings for her. Kane is spot-on as the exuberant younger Harper suddenly granted a second youth. Seeley follows suit when the tonic takes a toll on him, making for some very funny exchanges between the two, and there's the sweetness of a romance that nearly missed. But at times the comedy is overshadowed by a decidedly sexy tone to the content and a notable lack of plot twists that makes it feel a bit stale.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the choice of music and dance styles for this movie. Did you find any of this content too mature for teens? How has our sensitivity to sexual content changed in the past decade? Do you think this reflects society's view of the subject, or does society take its cues from the media's portrayal of it?
How are musicals uniquely entertaining? Do you think their incorporation of music and dance makes them appealing to a broader audience than movies alone? What are some of your favorite musicals? How does this one stack up against classics?
Families can explore the issue of body image as it relates to the media's messages. What impact does seeing "perfect" body types (thin, blonde, perfect skin and hair) on the screen have on you and your peers? Do you strive to imitate what you see? Do you think these images do a disservice to teens?