While the plot of this Australian film may seem a bit familiar (the Ugly Duckling meets Dirty Dancing
), the humourous tone and superb dance sequences will make you forget the movie's predictability. Scott (Paul Mercurio) is a champion ballroom dancer who wants to dance "his own steps". Fran is the homely, beginning dancer who convinces Scott that he should dance his own steps...with her. Complicating matters are Scott's domineering mother (Pat Thompson), a former dancer herself, who wants her son to win the Australian Pan-Pacific Championship (the same contest she lost years ago), and a conniving dance committee that is determined that "there are no new steps!" The dancing is enjoyable, yet not overwhelming, and the movie strives hard not to take itself too seriously (the beginning of the film is even styled as a pseudo-documentary). Strictly Ballroom
, while not so subtly imparting its moral ("A life lived in fear is a life half-lived"), is a funny romp that's sure to be a crowd pleaser. --Jenny Brown, Amazon.com
A top ballroom dancer pairs with a plain, left-footed local girl when his maverick style earns him the disdain of his more conventionally-minded colleagues. Together the duo give it their all and make dreams of the National Championship title come true. Strictly Ballroom is directed by Baz Luhrmann ("William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet") in a delicious high-key style.