Netflix February 2016_day.18 – Strictly Ballroom (1992)

_I’ve been thinking about reasons versus excuses lately. Not the dictionary definitions like “What is the difference between them?” That’s obvious. I’ve been thinking more of the connotations associated with them, and the usage of the terms in asking a question.

After you’ve made a statement, it’s easy to decide if it’s a reason or an excuse. But let’s say…you show up late for an appointment. You’re asked “What’s your excuse for being late?” You haven’t even said a word, but already, in the way the question is phrased you can tell: It doesn’t matter what your answer is. It’s most likely going to be perceived as baloney. Maybe whoever is asking it isn’t trying to sound hostile. Maybe they legitimately want to know. But the wording…it’s poor. Because if they ask that exact question and then hear “Sorry, for being late, my kid’s arm fell off and I had to rush him to the ER,” they’d feel bad.

I think my main point is…do your best the phrase your words appropriately. Sincerely, A Guy Who Often Fails At Doing Exactly That.

“Dumped by his partner just before a major dance competition, gifted hoofer Scott Hastings is forced to take a graceless neophyte as his new partner.”

Feel free to watch, just be sure to keep it Strictly Ballroom.

_So…I have no idea if these dance competitions are actual things.

I mean, yes, I know dance competitions are things, but I don’t know if the scene if this stuffy and melodramatic. But God, I hope it is.

_Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but the beginning of the movie is kind of a mess. It starts with some faux-documentary clips, where characters are interviewed about Scott and how he was expected to win but then started doing crazy non-traditional moves. Then after 5 minutes or so, it goes to being a normal movie…except for a part where one character goes “I hope Ken shows up and says his partner broke both her legs and he wants to dance with me!” and then it cuts to a clip of the lady getting into a car accident and the guy walking in and saying “My partner broke both her legs and I want to dance with you” that’s so screwball that it wasn’t until a minute later that I realized “Oh, that wasn’t a dream sequence, that actually occurred in the actual plot.”

It really felt like the original concept was that the movie wouldn’t be pinned down into any particular style, but that eventually got canned, but not after filming some of the more off-kilter stuff for the beginning of the movie and they just never re-shot the first 15 minutes.

_It’s eerie how similar this movie feels to Footloose. Sure, in Footloose, it’s “All dancing banned,” but the way Scott basically gets all huffy about “Dancing how eye wunna dance!” when everybody keeps telling him “You can’t! Traditional steps only, Scott!”

Hell, even the endings feel similar. In Footloose, they don’t actually overturn the anti-dancing law. They just hold the prom in a barn outside the city limits. In Strictly Ballroom, they ultimately compete for the championship and get disqualified. They win over the crowd and fellow dancers with a triumphant dance sequence, but the goal was “Win the Pan Pacific championship with their own moves,” and they got DQ’d. Same as in Footloose: “We’re gonna overturn and law against dancing.” Ultimately they failed.

This isn’t me saying “The two movies are carbon clones of one another!” Hardly. The scripts aren’t really that similar. It’s just…they share similar auras.

_Come on down tomorrow. We’ll be watching what I can only assume is a made-for-TV Disney Channel Original spin-off of Hollow Man. Invisible Sister. See you then~


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