HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lego Batman Movie, The
Stockholm My Love
Sizzle Beach, U.S.A.
Moulin Rouge
Morgan
Deathstalker
Harmonium
Alice
Pop Pirates
Sully
Tsunambee
Aftermath
Satan's Blood
John Wick: Chapter 2
Death in the Garden
Autopsy of Jane Doe, The
Tatie Danielle
Toni Erdmann
Massacre in Dinosaur Valley
Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith
Ironmaster
Interplanetary Surplus Male and Amazon Women of Outer Space, The
Disorderlies
Vision, The
Tall Guy, The
Stunt Squad
Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World
In the Doghouse
Gold
Serpico
   
 
Newest Articles
The Italian Jobs: Eurocrime! on DVD
And Then? 6 Hollywood Films That Should Have Had Sequels But Didn't
Approaching Menace: The Frighteners on DVD
Oz Factor: Strange Australia on the Cusp of the 80s
Dynamic Dozen: 80s Action in 12 Movies Part 2
Dynamic Dozen: 80s Action in 12 Movies Part 1
Manor On Movies: The Unguarded Moment (1956)
Manor On Movies: Curse Of The Dead (1961)
Q & A with San Francisco Silent Film Festival artistic director Anita Monga
Put Your Bigfoot In It: Bigfoot on Film
   
 
  Make It Happen Seriously slinkyBuy this film here.
Year: 2008
Director: Darren Grant
Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tessa Thompson, Riley Smith, John Reardon, Julissa Bermudez, Ashley Roberts, Karen LeBlanc, Matt Kippen, Erik Fjeldsted, Aaron Merke
Genre: Musical, Drama
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lauryn Kirk (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a booty-shaking blue collar gal from Glenwood, Indiana who wants to make it to the Chicago School of Dance. Unfortunately she flunks her audition. Lauryn’s big brother Joel (John Reardon), skeptical about her dreams, wants her back doing the books at their late parents’ auto-shop. But Lauryn finds a friend in waitress and part-time dancer Dana (Tessa Thompson) who gets her an accounting job at a glitzy nightclub called Ruby’s where an array of sexy dancers shake their stuff onstage every night. All that saucy stuff is not for Lauryn though. She is more of a hoodie-wearing, hip-hop, urban tomboy kind of girl. One night when Dana is unable to make it onstage, nice guy DJ Russ (Riley Smith) persuades Lauryn to take the spotlight. After a rocky start, her pop-and-lock moves go down a storm. A star is born, much to the annoyance of reigning dance diva Carmen (Julissa Bermudez). Over time Lauryn grows in confidence, finds romance with Russ and struggles to overcome her brother’s cynicism whilst preparing to take another shot at that audition.

These days you’re more likely to find Mary Elizabeth Winstead battling aliens, vampires or evil ex-boyfriends as the thinking man’s Milla Jovovich (not that we don’t love Milla too) but only a few years before she was hip-swivelling dance goddess Lauryn Kirk in Make It Happen. With a title possibly drawn from a line in Irene Cara’s theme song for seminal (for some anyway) dance film Flashdance (1983) (“Let your passion, make it happen!”), Make It Happen was co-written by Duane Adler, co-creator of the phenomenally successful Step Up (2006) and, as unlikely as it sounds, boasts an even flimsier plot. While it deserves some credit for at least attempting to address the hardships faced by professional dancers, detailing the hours of hard graft, blood, sweat, tears and broken dreams lurking beneath the glitzy veneer, the film recycles every clichéd motif from every dance film since the dawn of Broadway going right back to 42nd Street (1933).

One could make a case that dance films are really the female equivalent of boxing movies: a plucky go-getter gets knocked down in the opening act, trains hard in a lively musical montage, then punches above her weight for a second shot at success. The film’s one, solitary idea is that gutsy Lauren needs to unearth her inner sexpot in order to, yes, make it happen, and succeed as a professional dancer. Adler and co-writer Nicole Avril dress up this trite message with a lot of poncy profundities whilst the script throws a couple of tepid subplots into the mix including one about Dana’s pregnancy that went AWOL in the final cut and resurfaced as a deleted scene on the region 1 DVD. Ultimately Make It Happen proves more involving on a visual level than a dramatic one. The film drew a lot of flak for playing like an extended music video although veteran pop promo director Darren Grant was admirably upfront about this being his intention and a similar criticism could be levelled at some vintage Busby Berkley musicals, to say nothing of Flashdance.

Über-charismatic Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who prior to this had been dancing since the age of four, grounds the film with an honest, open-hearted performance along with some seriously slinky moves. Her often astonishingly limber and sexy routines are the highpoint of the movie, from the saucy umbrella-twirling routine (sultry co-star Julissa Bermudez also steams up the screen), a delightfully cheesy sequence where she grooves in her parents garage to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It”, but especially her showstopping striptease out of a sparkly suit. Working with cinematographer David Claessen and choreographer Tracey Phillips, Grant crafts some snappy, sensual set-pieces that leave Make It Happen something of a guilty pleasure.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 763 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Bernard Cribbins
Tom Cruise
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Rachel Franke
  Desbris M
Stately Wayne Manor
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: