Pet Peeve Cinema: The synchronized dance scene

ppcI’m man enough to admit that I went to the theater to see “She’s All That” back in 1999 – hey, I lived by myself in West Texas, and there was nothing else to do.

But 10 years later, that movie remains the benchmark for one of my biggest cinematic pet peeves – the dance, usually at the prom or the underground club, that for some reason, everyone seems to know.

In “She’s All That” it takes place during the climactic prom (you know, after Laney’s taken off her glasses and everyone’s suddenly discovered she’s a babe with a killer body).

How in the blue blazes does everyone know how to do this dance? Was this high school made up of aspiring choreographers? Was there some sort of special class you could take if you wanted to learn it? Did everyone go to Usher’s house and practice the steps? Hell, even Freddie Prinze Jr., who spends most of the movie chasing after Laney, knows one or two steps.

I can’t tell you how much this scene drives me crazy, even to this day. It took me completely out of the movie (yes, I know we’re talking about “She’s All That” here, but still).

This may be the worst offender, but there are plenty of other examples where people have some sort of inexplicable link through dance.

From “Step Up”:

Huh? Random people in a random club ALL know how to do a specific dance to an allegedly new song? And then the girl says, “Come on!” to the guy when he doesn’t do it right? BITCH, I JUST GOT TO THE CLUB AND I DON’T HAVE DANCE ESP!

From “Boys and Girls” (what is is with FPJ and dance scenes?):

As much as love Claire Forlani, I don’t think she can spontaneously break it down like this. What if you don’t know the dance? Do you have to leave the club?

From “Good Burger”:

I don’t have too many bad things to say about this whacked-out kids flick (it’s got Abe Vigoda in it for God’s sake), but all the residents in the mental ward know how to jam to Funkadelic? And do a Thriller-esque dance?

Oh, there’s more, so many more, but I’ll stop now. Perhaps I’ll go to the club tonight and meet up with completely perfect strangers and dance the night away in perfect harmony…

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~ by Elliott on July 25, 2009.

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