You can flush this Flash­dance

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film Reviews - DON­ALD CLARKE

MAKE IT HAP­PEN Di­rected by Dar­ren Grant. Star­ring Mary El­iz­a­beth Win­stead, Ri­ley Smith, Tessa Thompson, Julissa Ber­mudez, John Rear­don, Ash­ley Rober 12A cert, gen re­lease, 90 min YEAH, MAN, make it hap­pen. Make me fall asleep. Make me look at my watch ev­ery 30 sec­onds. Make me cast my eyes to heaven with such vigour that I risk de­tach­ing a retina.

When you hear that the latest youth dance film takes place largely within the con­fines of a poledanc­ing club, you might as­sume that it would, at the very least, stir up a bit of righ­teous anger in the lib­eral ob­server.

No such luck. The Chicago venue within which Mary El­iz­a­beth Win­stead struts her stuff is run so re­spon­si­bly it could com­fort­ably host the an­nual Spare Rib din­ner dance. Over half the au­di­ence is made up of sober women. An ar­tic­u­late African-Amer­i­can lady, who tol­er­ates no mis­use of her charges, man­ages the place with no­table con­sci­en­tious­ness. The dancers re­veal no por­tions of flesh you might not also glimpse in a pro­duc­tion of Starlight Ex­press.

Heck, you’d be as happy to have your daugh­ter dance in this place as do the laun­dry in a nun­nery.

This re­ally is a half-assed piece of work. If you are go­ing to nudge the plots of Flash­dance and 42nd Street be­fore us you might have the de­cency to draw a false mous­tache on one and perch dark glasses on the other.

Win­stead, late of Death Proof, plays a garage worker who trav­els to the city with the in­ten­tion of be­com­ing a bal­let dancer. Af­ter fail­ing to get into the col­lege of her choice, she turns to bur­lesque and grad­u­ally de­vel­ops a whole new set of mus­cles. You know how th­ese things go.

One would for­give the deriva­tive plot, flat act­ing and de­ceit con­cern­ing the quasire­spectable end of the sex in­dus­try if the danc­ing were up to scratch. But Mary El­iz­a­beth’s grand finale, fa­tally com­pro­mised by a lib­eral use of stand-ins, of­fers noth­ing you wouldn’t be sur­prised to see at 3am in the Let­terkenny Splen­dido. Make it go away.

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