Dear The Movies:

Posted: January 26, 2010 in Threat Quality
Tags: , , ,

I would like to see more dancing in the movies. I don’t know if this is an odd seepage of Bollywood conventions showing up from time to time (I’m not exactly Bollywood-schooled, so if anyone would like to chirp up, now’s the time), but I like it, and would like more.

Both of this weekend’s movie selections, Gamer and 500 Days of Summer, were made incrementally better (not necessarily “good,” mind you; just “better than they had been in the moments before the dance number”) with the inclusion of a dance number out of nowhere.

Gamer used Sammy Davis Jr.’s rendition of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” to pretty awesomely menacing effect, having scenery-devouring Michael C. Hall doing a creepy puppet dance while lip-synching, with helpful backup stomping by his armored guards. This is not something you get to see in a lot of movies. I appreciated it. It added nothing to the plot – in fact, it actually ground the plot to a halt – and you have to respect a movie that says, “You guys know what happens next – big action finale. Let’s just take a moment for dancing.”

500 Days of Summer’s inclusion made a little more sense, because I firmly believe that people in real life should be able to literally break out into a song and dance in the middle of a crowded street if they’ve just had sex after a long dry streak. I Believe That Should Be Allowed:

And now that I think of it, my favorite part of Kung Fu Hustle? Axe gang victory dance.

Now, let me put this to you: would a dance number led by the Joker have cut into the seriousness of Dark Knight? Yes. Of course. But would it have been pretty monumentally cool?


Get on it, movies!

(Oddly, I am not advocating more musicals. I’m not anti-musical, but…well, dancing’s pretty much expected there. I am calling for more Unexpected Dancing.)

  1. braak says:

    I love this stuff. The landscape of the film as an expression of the character’s psyche — Expressionism at its best.

    For some reason, there is nothing so thrilling to me as seeing a character so happy that when he starts dancing in the streets, everyone else starts dancing with him.

  2. Jeff Holland says:

    Oh! And the end of Takeshi’s Zatoichi, too!

  3. Jeff Holland says:

    Also, yes, I think the reason “500 Days of Summer” actually gets away with a lot is it makes no bones about its being unrealistic. This is about the Idea of romance and breakups, so when Levitt checks his reflection in a TV and sees Han Solo, or when he sullenly mopes down the street in a bathrobe and slippers, it feels less real, but far more emotionally true.

    (Come to think of it, the movie has a lot more to do with “The Lonely Guy” than the “Garden-State”-esque Indie Romance it was marketed as.)

  4. Moff says:

    In Daredevil, when they fight on the playground it’s kind of like dancing.

  5. V.I.P. Referee says:

    YES! Love kooky break-out dancing in films. It’s just so…joyful seeming. And so unallowable in “real life”. It’s sad to think there comes an age when society tells you breaking into random, exuberant dance–when you just feel like dancing–is totally unacceptable.

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