HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Despite Flawed Plot Clichés, Dancing Takes Center Stage in ‘How She Move’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 3 (3 votes)

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3/5CHICAGO – Kids, it’s an old-fashioned dance off, and despite being about the contemporary and very urban stepdance craze, it has all the hope, dreams, choreography and clichés of a golden-age Hollywood musical revue.

“How She Move” has Rutina Wesley portraying Raya Green: a private-school scholarship student who’s forced to come back to her old, inner-city neighborhood and high school after the death of her sister from a drug overdose.

How She Move
“How She Move”.
Photo credit: IMDb

As kids, the siblings entertained themselves with stepdancing, which is an intensely programmed variation on hip-hop moves. The sister who passed away went on to be a champion stepper, and when Raya comes back, she’s drawn in again by the lure of the dance despite her scholarship pursuit.

Enter Bishop (Dwain Murphy): a friend of her sister’s and the founder of a renowned, all-male stepdancing group. He takes a risk and allows Raya to join the crew and compete at a step competition in Detroit. Will odds be defied and the forces of evil (the rival group) be brought down?

The film attempts to frame the story in a multi-cultural vein (Raya’s mother, for example, is Jamaican) with the stepdance competition as a way for all levels of brains, culture and brawn to co-exist. Raya is forced to tutor a lesser student and their initial rivalry is tempered by the passion of their dance skills.

How She Move
“How She Move”.
Photo credit: IMDb

Despite the swearing and inner-city street vibe, this really is a sweet movie. The brainiacs work hard in both mind and body standards and their smarts create new moves that impress the overall culture. Though success is measured by the winner of the step competition, it is the journey of the characters toward the prize that gives the film heart.

The dancing itself gets one word: wow!

Carefully mastered steps are combined with an outrageous physicality to create movement and form that is part tap, rhythmic gymnastics, military precision and even pratfall comedy. Director Ian Iqbal Rashid (best known for the comedy “Touch of Pink”) uses hand-held close-ups and sizzling motion in the dance sequences to add even more thrill and action.

The short film, though, detrimentally shoehorns the plot cliché between the dance. A simpler, less multi-layered story would have served the main dance events better. Raya, for example, keeps switching step companies based on perceived slights and it doesn’t make sense.

In essence, it tries to teach as it entertains and you can’t fault it for that. If Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were working now (and had been born in an inner-city neighborhood), they’d be saying: “Let’s put on a step show.” As for me, I’ve got a barn in the back.

“How She Move” opened on Jan. 25, 2008.

Click here for our full “How She Move” image gallery!

HollywoodChicago.com staff writer Patrick McDonald

By PATRICK McDONALD
Staff Writer
HollywoodChicago.com
pat@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2008 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

Dustin's picture

She Move Good

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
82 - 67 =
Solve this math question and enter the solution with digits. E.g. for "two plus four = ?" enter "6".

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Cornerstone, Nothing Without a Company

    CHICAGO – We all need some help. The stage play group Nothing Without a Company realizes that, and has collaborated with the organization “Cornerstone” to provide that assistance. Cornerstone is a seminar and a happening in downtown Chicago, facilitated by “experts” to generate your potential. The presentation has a Thursday-Sunday run at Michigan Avenue’s Artspace 8 through April 29th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Cold War

    CHICAGO – Local filmmaking is thriving, thanks to the many creators who choose to make independent movies in Chicago. Co-directors Stirling McLaughlin and J. Wilder Konschak (also writer) brought their cast and crew to the Windy City to make their comedy, “Cold War.” The film made its digital debut on April 6th, 2018, and will be available on iTunes, Google Play, FandangoNow, Amazon, Vudu and more.

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker