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2002: Jake Mitchell is the defending World West Coast Swing Champion. He's got everything going for him: looks, personality, and style. He's at the top of his game when he and his partner Corinne are crowned the unexpected winners at the World Swing Dance Championships. As the crowd cheers and the celebration begins, Jake appears uneasy. Did he really deserve to win? The music blasts and the bass is thumping, and Jake hears none of it. He feels it. Jake is completely deaf, due to an ear infection when he was a teenager. He learned how to dance by feeling the vibrations of the music. Now he feels something else: that perhaps the judges gave him the win out of sympathy. Present Day: Jessica Donovan's life is boring. When she was younger, she was a dancer who had dreams of Broadway. Now she's an English teacher for disinterested, upper class middle school kids, and she's dying to let loose. Her fiancee Kent is a work-a-holic who cares more about making money than making Jessica happy. ... Written by
MoviePlex is a generally blah movie channel (especially since it dropped its Western Wednesdays) but occasionally it brings us a little or little-known film that just grabs a viewer's heart and won't let go.
This movie is one of those.
Its cast of mostly unknowns (I think Billy Zane is the only one I had heard of) are not only astonishingly talented, but the characters they play are very likable and even compelling. There are some stereotypes, but they just add to the fun.
They are also mostly extremely attractive, either as physical specimens or as characters. Nicola Royston, for one, is just eye-poppingly and exotically beautiful -- and has made apparently only one movie. (What is the matter with the world's casting directors?)
Even the film's closest-to-villainous characters are likable and good- looking. One man who ignores his intended and pays more attention to business is one of them, but he is to be pitied, not censured.
Look especially for Rachel Dratch, of whom probably I should have known, but this was my first look. She is absolutely adorable, and in her last scene, she steals it. Watch her face. Marvelous!
The music is not even close to being what I would ordinarily listen to, but as setting for the dances, it was something even I liked. Some of the choreography is less than perfect, but the dancers are so good, so watchable, so graceful and athletic, any flaws (which would be subjective, anyway) are totally unimportant.
In short, this is one excellent movie, one I've already watched twice, and one I highly recommend to any person who likes dance, who likes "damn nice" people (to quote one character's assessment of some of his dance rivals), and who appreciates top-of-the-line talent.
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