I apparently upset a loyal reader with my bait and switch title yesterday. So, in honor of my dear friend Sas, I will get down to the really important business of discussing the Clueless But Hopeful Mama list of the Ten Greatest Dance Movies of All Time (with bonus points added for kissing.)
1. Fast Forward. This is, hands down, the best dance movie ever made (*very straight face, don't EVEN mess.*). Eight Ohio teenagers leave their hometown for big bad New York City and the famed "shoot out" contest. There is a beautiful, talented man as their fearless leader (Wherefore art thou Don Franklin??), romance (bonus points!), a memorable sweatshirt-and-Chuck-Taylors number, and -best of all- dance wars. Could you ask for more? No, no you could not. If your video store does not have this in stock, beg. Or I will send you my betamax tape of it.
2. Dirty Dancing. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this movie and it still manages to capture my attention. The music, the unforgettable lines ("Nobody puts Baby in the corner", "I carried the watermelon", etc. etc. etc.), the HOT SWEATY ROMANCE WITH PATRICK SWAYZE (BONUS POINTS! BONUS POINTS! BONUS POINTS!). I may have to go slip that DVD on right now....
3. Footloose. Kevin Bacon dancing in tight jeans in a warehouse. I rest my case. (A single bonus point for some romance because Lori Singer totally bugs me.)
4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Who knew Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt could dance (decently)? Cute movie, not a lot of romance but great, great, GREAT 80's fashion and vocab. Put your ponytail to the side and slide on some leg warmers!
5. Step Up. Yum Yum YUM, Channing Tatum can dance and he's so deLISH that you totally forgive any lame plot issues or wooden acting (Rachel Griffiths looks like she's sleep walking.). So worth it for the dancing and romance (EXTRA bonus points for real life romance between the co-stars!).
6. Dirty Dancing Havana Nights. There a cameo from Patrick Swayze, there's some great dancing and the plot actually doesn't totally suck (for a dance movie, that's saying a lot.) Plus, Diego Luna is a bit young for CBHM but he's SUPER TASTY nonetheless. This would have been WAY higher on the list if THEY ACTUALLY KISSED MUCH. Is it too much to ask for a little bit of kissing?? Sheesh.
7. Flashdance. I'm sorry to say that J.Lo has totally ruined this movie for me. And I'm still a bit bitter that they had a dance double for Jennifer Beals. Either get an actress who can actually dance or don't do a dance movie, you know? It's obvious to anyone with a brain that this is a different person dancing and that is why I am also pissed at Save the Last Dance and will make it share the number 7 spot. I love you Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas and the plot didn't totally suck but I hated seeing a dance double.
8.Center Stage. In honor of you, Ms. Sas, I'll give this movie it's own spot, even though they use a dance double for Z Saldana (Hey Z, great name, too bad you can't dance!). There IS fun dancing (Susan Stroman's choreography is so cinematic), some romance (Sasha Redetsky IS yummy), and BIG bonus points for giving a role to Ethan Stiefel. But the plot, the acting.... ug. They could have made it sooo much better.
9. White Nights. Holy crap! I can't believe I've gotten this far without Misha! Barishnikov is a legend for a reason and this movie is only the tip of the huge iceberg. Plus it's got Gregory Hines, Isabella Rosselini and Helen Mirren. But it's a bit too serious (NOT ENOUGH KISSING). So #9 it is. (Sorry Misha! Love you!)
10. Oh crap- there are so many movies left! Saturday Night Fever, Breakin', You Got Served, Fame. I'm afraid you will all have to settle for honorable mentions because this spot goes to..... Billy Elliot. Now, there is no romance. BUT. There is AMAZING dancing from a KID, great acting, interesting plot, and a total feel good ending. Jamie Bell will always have my heart.
Well, there you have it. If you've read this far, you deserve a little reward.
Here's an old pic of Z, who is being indoctrinated into the Dirty Dancing hysteria early.
(Oh. My. God. This was taken when she was almost 6 months old, nothing but rolls of pudge and couldn't sit up on her own. My widdle baaayyby!)