“How She Move”: Who needs a story when you can dance?


I’m a chump for an urban
style dance movie. A complete chump. I watch and smile and bob my head
and groove and move and tap my feet and glide and slide while in my
seat. Hey, that all rhymed! Seriously, I’m on the edge of said seat during these movies
and want to hop up and bust my own moves. Or bust my own head, if it’s
a break-dancing movie. But what officially makes me a chump is that
I pay to watch these usually predictable, limited-story-line,
clichéd movies. And even worse, I have the nerve to like them
with no sincere apologies.

Well, I’m pleased to share
my happiness with the other suckers out there in AfterEllen.com land
who enjoy these movies. A new release, How She Move, opens Friday, and it looks
like it has the music, the moves, the predictability and the clichés
that I find hard to resist!

Ever since Janet Jackson‘s Rhythm Nation
back in
the day, I am drawn to choreographed dance sequences. I tolerate the
story lines of movies just to get to the dance sequences. I tolerate
marginal acting just to get to the dance sequences. I tolerate the clichés
just to get to the dance sequences. See, a real chump.

How She Move follows
a high school student who,
upon her sister’s death, is forced "to leave her private school
to return to her old, crime-filled neighborhood where she re-kindles
an unlikely passion for step dancing." The film is the screen debut
of relative newcomer
Rutina Wesley
as the protagonist, Raya.
Yep, it’s a movie told from a young woman’s point of view — so already
it’s different than many of its predecessors.

Here’s the

I love watching folks who
have such a mastery of their bodies. Some people like watching athletes
for the same reason. Some like watching ballet or even ballroom dancers
for the same reason. But there is just something about the unfiltered
passion and energy that comes across in a freer form of dance (even when choreographed)
that just lights me up. Besides, you know what they say: If you know
how to dance then you know how to … vacuum? Hmmm, maybe I misheard
the old adage.

Anyway, How She Move

is actually a Canadian film. It’s written by Annmarie Morais and was filmed entirely in and around
Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario. The film
debuted a year ago at Sundance 2007 and was picked up for distribution
based on that showing. It has taken a little time to get the film broadly
released here in the States, but early reviews have been favorable. Hey, maybe
this will actually be more than just nice series of dance sequences?! What? I can hope, can’t I? The movie
also stars Tre Armstrong and Dwain Murphy and has cameos
of recording artists Mya and Keyshia Cole and is directed
by Ian Iqbal Rashid.

How She Move opens Friday, January 25.

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