Friday, June 3, 2011

Go For It (2011) - Trailer (HD)

"Because people keep going to see them"
That answer, actually given by the actor Van Johnson (unknown to today's movie goers) to the question of why so many lousy movies get made, applies in part to the dance movie genre.There is something also genetically built in that leads hordes of young people to flock theatres to see this or that crew or individual striving  - always against seemingly insurmountable odds - to establish themselves within some circle.

With Go For It, that circle is Chicago's Latina hip-hop scene, an admittedly obscure phenomenon in the urban dance cosmos, and one which holds a certain level of fascination, if only for moments at a time. Into that matrix, writer-director Carmen Marron   throws some all too familiar dysfunctional family and female bonding stories.

Carmen (the wispy but fiery Aimee Garcia) is the troubled talent at the heart of this melodrama. Falling behind and getting into trouble in school, she nonetheless attracts the patrician attention of schoolteacher Frank martin (Al Bandiero), who's dealing with issues of his own. Gina, her BFF, sounding board and co-worker at a local grocery, is also grappling, none too successfully, with a physically abusive boyfriend and a junkie mother. Of course, every dance movie needs a love story, and Marron makes this one interracial; a well-off white boy (Derrick Denicola) takes a shine to Carmen and eventually succeeds in getting her to reciprocate.

Sounds like a basic dance melodrama mix. With Go For It though, the whole is woefully less than the sum of the parts. Apart from Bandiero as the teacher and Gina Rodriguez as Gina, few of the actors really bring anything fresh or dynamic to their portrayals. Its left to the dance scenes, done in the old "battle" style of hip-hop to carry the film's momentum, but these scenes, while occasionally visually arresting, are simply not enough to justify the investment of one's time.

Perhaps Marron should have gone the documentary route. The glimpse into a hitherto largely unseen or unnoticed world is worthy, but tied to this tired melodrama formula, is weighed down. She should forget the Hollywood model and really "go for it."

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