IHAO on ... Cuban Fury

Let's take a quick break before tomorrow's big horror review, finishing up all the Saw film franchise in one month.  Let's go with ... a dance flick romantic comedy starring the fat guy from those Edgar Wright films.  Yup.  Let that sink in.

I know, right?  Like a movie whose plot is just an episode of Dancing with the Stars.

Plot: As a young kid, Nick Frost's character, Bruce, was a salsa prodigy.  But just as he was about to win every award for salsa dancing as a kid, bullies made him eat the sequins on his shirt and beat him up in a puddle.  He quite after that.  25 years later, Rashida Jones moves to England, becomes his boss, loves salsa, so he gets back into salsa to win her heart.  But Chris O'Dowd from the IT Crowd and a bunch of other stuff, he is a big douchewaffle about it all and tries to steal the girl away from our fat dancing protagonist.  He doesn't, because of course he doesn't, that's not even close to a spoiler, it is just an obvious culmination of a stock film plot.

The movie is fine.  Shot very well, with great colors and some great actors, like the ones I mentioned above, plus Ian McShane, Kayvan Novak, and Olivia Colman.  But the film doesn't really ... do anything new or interesting.  Just your standard tropes.  The closest, and best scene, is a dance fight between Chris O'Dowd and Nick Frost.  But even that isn't really all that mirthful.  It's fine, just not great.

The problem with a romantic comedy that the male is the lead character is that it points out a huge problem in most writing: writing women tends to be one of the hardest things for men to do.  And Rashida Jones, who is a perfectly likable and fine romantic opposite for Nick Frost, ends up looking like an idiot because of the pacing of the film.  On top of that, it also means that the film focuses on the non-romance parts, with Chris O'Dowd being a sex-obsessed jerk, and the entire focus of the obstacles for the B-plot, which ... should be the A-plot, since this film is about the romance, except it is about the dancing.  Really, it is about watching Fat Guy Dances, a lot like how Here Comes the Boom is about Fat Guy Fights.  And just like Here Comes the Boom, this movie is fine, shot very well, has some stock characters, some decent emotion, and is clearly a labor of love, since Nick Frost is doing all his dancing, as do all the actors.  And that's pretty cool.

Best shot in the movie, this one.

There is some fun to be had in this movie, some great dancing, and some decent acting.  But it is basically forgettable beside the dancing.  If I wanted to watch a dance movie, I would watch Footloose or Take the Lead.  If I wanted to watch a romantic comedy, I would watch ... golly, so many other things.  I just cannot think of a reason that I actually care to watch this film again, even if it is pretty good.  I hope that there are others out there to love this film, because it is just quirky and different enough to be someone's favorite.  But its shortcomings in the script and my lack of interest in watching the same tropes as Happy Gilmore and Here Comes the Boom again means that this one just isn't going to be for me.

Grade: B

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