My Blueberry Nights

Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Directed by Darren Grant
Running Time: 90 mins
Rated: Rated PG (infrequent mild coarse language)
Is it Flashdance from a quarter of a century ago that is responsible for many moviegoers loving films about dancing, especially of the vigorous kind wether it be Footloose or Dirty Dancing, or the popular trends from Salsa to Breakdancing and the competitions with dance gangs in the American city neighbourhood streets? It probably was. And, Make it Happen certainly follows this long-standing trend: a girl from a garage (well, she does the books rather than get round in a boiler suit) loves to dance. Trapped into helping out her disapproving brother at the family garage for three years, she finally heads off from Indiana to Chicago where she has an audition for a prestigious dancing school. It doesn't spoil the plot to discover she is not accepted - the judge does not understand her style of dancing or her burning ambition. We do - and we know what the challenges she has to face will be.

Feeling low, she meets a young woman who is serving coffee (which is puzzling because we soon discover she is a bombshell of burlesque style dancing at a popular club). The two women become good friends. There is a DJ who composes his own music. Now we are into Coyote Ugly territory although the patrons of this Chicago club have much better manners. If, at this point, you are guessing the rest, you are probably not wrong at all. But, the whole point of following the formula is actually following the formula so that audiences who know where it is all going can enjoy watching how it actually does work out.

This means that Make it Happen is the 2008 contribution to the US dance-fail-and-succeed trend, made just for the audience who loves this trend.

Village RoadshowOut September 4

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

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