Once in a great while a movie comes along that will make you rethink your views on class, culture and art. A stirring narrative that will have you talking about it for weeks or maybe months.
Step Up is NOT that movie.
Last night I embarked upon my second (but third attempt at) drunk movie review. This tradition is quickly becoming both my favorite and most hated past time. For those of you who are in the dark, the first movie review can be found
The premise is simple, imbibe dangerous amount of vodka then travel to a movie theater and see the worst movie showing there. Last night, however, I decided to throw in a twist, I brought a friend.
No, the friend’s name wasn’t cocaine, you people make me ill.
His name was Dale! Dale is one of my favorite people in the world because he loves to drink almost as much as I do. We’ve both been known to tote bottles of liquour around parties and then be found face down in a bathroom some time later. Who better to bring along on a DMR?
We got things started early, around 8 in Washington Square Park where we threw our bottle of Tito’s Handmade Vodka into a brown paper bag and chatted about everything from tits to asses.
What? We’re guys, that’s what guys talk about.
About half way through the bottle we decided to pregame a little more at a bar with some beer and pool. At this point I felt like we were overcompensating a little with the manliness considering we were about to go see a movie about dancing, together, after 10pm. I stole a pen from a bar tender, blatantly, and then we headed out.
Eventually we made it to the theater and bought two tickets to the 10:30 show. Then I started to take stock of how drunk I was getting. The teller mentioned that the movie was on the fifth floor and I mused aloud that those were a lot of steps to walk. They have escalators you dumb ass.
Things really start to get hazy here. We’d consumed nearly the entire bottle of vodka and with two pints of beer a piece in us we were staggering by the time we got in the actual theater.
Lo and behold there were actually people ready and waiting to watch this drivel. In the back corner there was a homeless guy who figured this would be the best place to catch a nap, considering the movie has the entertainment factor of chewed celery. There was the requisite child molester-looking guy two rows behind us. And then there were two girls, probably NYU freshmen, who were about to get their first dose of New York, Miss(ed) Manners style.
After getting settled, taking a few more pulls on the bottle and deciding we’d write our notes on our brown paper bag (which I subsequently lost), the theater went dark and the movie started. It should be noted however, that by this point I had lost complete control over my motor functions and I wasn’t even writing, it was like controlled fits of Parkinson’s with a stolen pen.
Step Up takes place in Maryland, a fact explained to me by Dale after I shouted at the screen, “this looks NOTHING like New York!” Street wise Tyler (Tatum Channing) loves to dance, a fact we’re reminded of during the opening scene. Potatum and his boys are at a club, he’s out on the floor getting all krump on some girl and then he almost gets shot. This obviously frightens the boys as they then run out of there and immediately break into a dance academy to steal some shit to buy some guns to go get the guy that almost shot Tater. They get caught and convicted and Totem Pole has to do 200 hours of community service by being a janitor at the school.
Toast’em then spends a little time complaining about how this world is so different from the world he grew up in. He is after all, very authentic and hasn’t coopted any culture at all. The Ballet school is not Krump enough for him.
And then we meet our female protagonist, Nora (Jenna Dewan).
She’s sad in this picture because she’s just realized that she looks like Vincent from TV’s Beauty and the Beast. Well, that and her partner (who is apparently the only one in the school strong enough to lift her beastly, mannish figure) got hurt and he needs to take some time to ice and practice his tights stuffing skills.
What follows next is a whirlwind romance and clashing of high society dancing and street moves. Break dancing and ballet! Holy shit, what a great idea for a movie! Do you think… maybe… they might learn from each other and perhaps make a stupendous dance routine that blends their specific styles of dance into one, but without losing the traits that make them unique?!
Unfortunately we didn’t get to know. At 11:00 I received a call from my mother. What was I to do? I was plastered drunk by this point, unable to talk effectively and in a movie theater, what’s the correct thing to do?
Well I answered the phone of course! It was my mom!
I started the conversation off with the ever popular (and very loud), “Hi Mom! I’m really drunk and in a movie theater with Dale!”
“That’s nice honey, tell Dale I said Hello, do you want to buy a piece of land?”
I covered the receiver and whisper-shouted to Dale, “My mom says Hello! She wants me to buy some land!”
My mom is a real estate agent and she’s constantly trying to get me to buy land with money I don’t have. I make about enough to eat and drink (as can be seen) and I’m happy. But apparently my mom thinks I would be happier owning a few acres of undeveloped land upstate. I usually counter this argument with something about the noose of land ownership and my being a free spirit that needs to pay overpriced rent to feel validated.
That’s the gist of the five minute conversation I stammered and slurred at full volume in the theater. It got pretty heated and she ended the phone call angrily with, “Call me when you’re sober, David!” It was so Jerry Springer I almost cried.
It should also be noted that never at any time did anyone tell me to shush. I must seem like a violent drunk.
By the end of the phone call the vodka was bearing full force on me. I could feel the walls of drunkness closing in on me and I was swaying visibly. We tried to write notes and follow the movie, but it was becoming increasingly difficult.
Add to that that this movie is more formulaic and trite than an episode of Real World and we felt like there was nothing left to watch. I made the following predictions in my head for the movie before we left:
The original dance partner guy would come back and Beastlady would choose FacTatum over him.
One of Tatumstatumtum’s friends would get shot.
She-ra the Animal Queen would make a killer dance routine and do ballet to hip hop music.
All three of these things happen of course. Basically, you could go to this movie with an Urban Fish Out of Water Movie Plot Bingo Card and win in the first twenty mintues. When we realized we’d seen the movie already in our heads (a much better version of course) Dale and I decided to hit the bricks. I was losing consciousness slowly but surely and needed to sleep it off.
I woke up, as usual, still slightly drunk.
My Rating: 2 out of 5 Drunk Rambling Phone Conversations with Your Mom
(Not reccomended, drunk or otherwise)