Make It Happen

Make It Happen


Reviewed by: Caro Ness

Once you have seen one dance movie, you’ve probably seen them all, in that the formula is usually a flimsy plot which generally features a dancer wannabe who gets their hopes dashed but then perseveres to achieve their goal. Make It Happen is no exception in that Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Lauren, a girl who has worked as the book keeper in her brother’s garage since her parents died, but who secretly has ambitions to study at the Chicago School of Dance and Music, so she leaves her brother behind and goes to an audition.

Her audition is a disaster, and despondent and unable to face/tell her brother she has failed, she drowns her sorrows in a bar, where Dana (Tessa Thompson) spots her, commiserates, takes her under her wing and finds her a job as a book keeper in the dance bar, Ruby’s. Inevitably, sooner or later, one of the girls calls in sick so Lauren gets her chance to show her moves in the club, but it helps that the resident DJ, Russ, lusts after her.

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We then have the necessary setback, courtesy of her brother's ailing fortunes, followed by his inevitable change of heart. He persuades her to return to Chicago to re-audition and this time... well, you can see where this is going.

So, yes, this film is derivative, yes, it is predictable, but it still retains some charm, largely due to Winstead’s performance. She has a likeable, natural frankness, not to mention the physique of a dancer, even if, I suspect, she did not do all of the dance work herself, since her face is often covered in the dance routines. Also the dance routines range in quality. They are shot with minimal camera movement, which makes a nice change, but the actual choreography sometimes feels as if it is lacking a burst of adrenaline and the music is sometimes a little tacky.

At any rate, I know that the teen girl audience at whom it is aimed will overlook these irrelevancies and love it. My daughter did.

Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2009
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A wannabe dancer aims to make it big.
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Director: Darren Grant

Writer: Duane Adler, Nicole Avril, Duane Adler

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tessa Thompson, Riley Smith, John Reardon, Julissa Bermudez, Ashley Roberts, Karen LeBlanc, Matt Kippen, Erik Fjeldsted, Aaron Merke

Year: 2008

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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