Muriel finds life in Porpoise Spit, Australia dull and spends her days alone in her room listening to Abba music and dreaming of her wedding day. Slight problem, Muriel has never had a date... See full summary »
Scott Hastings is a champion caliber ballroom dancer, but much to the chagrin of the Australian ballroom dance community, Scott believes in dancing "his own steps". Fran is a beginning dancer and a bit of an ugly duckly who has the audacity to ask to be Scott's partner after his unorthodox style causes his regular partner to dance out of his life. Together, these two misfits try to win the Australian Pan Pacific Championships and show the Ballroom Confederation that they are wrong when they say, "there are no new steps!" Written by
Tara Morice was almost not cast as Fran, even though she played the character in the stage version, because the financial backers were reluctant to cast a non-dancer in the role. Pimples were painted onto her face for her early scenes. See more »
When Shirley Hastings finally rips the calendar pages off in anger shouting, "It was his year," some of the pages underneath also show days marked off and the Pan-Pacific date circled in red. See more »
Yes, yes, I agree with all of the wonderful comments below, but here are a few things nobody has mentioned:
1. The EDITING is superb. All too often we focus on the actors, music, or cinematography. This is natural, and in this film all of these are superb. But keep a close watch of the editing - wow, it is perfect and ties the whole film together flawlessly. There are so many cuts that make the perspective magical.(And no, I am not a film editor.)
2. Look at WHO is dancing together as couples, right at the end. This, like so many other fine details, carries lots of significance.
3. When Scott and Fran are practising on the deck at her house, under the instruction of her family, her Spanish father dances with her and says "Muy bien, muy bien, Fran. Very good!" Notice that he uses her Anglo name "Fran" rather than her Spanish name, and converts over to English. The look he gives her tells us that he is probably seeing his (deceased) wife, via his daughter whom he loves, and that he finally ACCEPTS her and her Anglo boyfriend. This is but one of many small scenes that have more depth than may be first apparent.
My wife and I grabbed this video to 'fill in time' during a quiet weekend. We were astounded at how it captivated us since we had already seen it when it first came out. Like other comments below, we have watched the end repeatedly, and it always 'revs us up' into the clouds. Bravo!
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