Hello, everyone. First, I must apologize for not updating for what feels like years. Unfortunately, life has gotten a bit too hectic for me to write stuff (and it’ll likely continue!). Either way, I’m going to plow forward and get something up for your reading displeasure.
Today’s film: 1 Chance 2 Dance
When an aspiring dancer is uprooted during her senior year of high school, she finds herself torn between two boys – and with one shot at her dream.
The film opens on the face of a young makeup-ed girl named Gabby who is getting ready 2 dance. She happily calls to her father who has appeared in the driveway. He waves but not to the girl. It’s to some hussy whom he kisses and rides off with in his BMW SUV while his daughter distressingly shouts for him. It’s a dream, but this girl has got some daddy issues. Surely, she’ll solve it by the end of the film.
Gabby is awoken by her mother who tells her she should see her father. Gabby expositions that she is a stressed 17-year old girl who is moving across the country DURING HER SENIOR YEAR and doesn’t have the time to see him. Mom is also probably stressed, but who cares?
The family arrives at their destination and is greeted by their cross-country aunt. Gabby wears a hat.
Gabby is dropped off at school. She literally drove up to her new home town, fought with her brother on the room she will sleep in, and then got unceremoniously dumped on school grounds. This is purely to get the plot moving, but give the girl a break, MOM.
Gabby speaks with the principal, a faux Englishwoman who is clearly breaking the school dress code. She’s stuck up and tells Gabby that it’s good she’s not dancing for the school; it’s far too competitive.
If that’s not enough of a weird intro to her new school, Gabby meets her new best friends: two eccentric girls who make fun of her clothing.
But they “like weirdos”, so it’s fine. Gabby rushes to her first class and trips as she tries to find her seat. This annoys the 30-year-man-who-is-a-student.
Gabby almost crushed his iPod (were iPods still around in 2014? Technology moves too quickly for me to remember). They argue. She tells him to “eat her” which is a really weird comeback.
Instead of human flesh, both characters separately head to the lunch room to consume cafeteria food. Gabby meets her new friends and they talk about their interests. Danna is a choreographer and Jude is musically talented.
The bonding scene is interrupted by rock music and a slow-motion entrance of the mean girls of the high school. They try to do a hair flip in sync, but they can’t manage it and the director didn’t want to reshoot the scene.
So um…this group. They’re called the Neapolitans. This film is trying very hard to be every high school movie and failing miserably. THE NEAPOLITANS. Because one is black, one is white, and one has red hair. Anyway, the white blonde one is in the dancing program, so the film’s focal tension is now established.
Danna informs Gabby that she’s joined the school just in time for the 1 Chance 2 Dance competition which is a big deal. Gabby refuses because of no real reason.
We cut to the blonde Neapolitan, Valerie, dancing in a studio. Her mother (who also happens to be the principal) arrives to criticize her daughter. She conspires to make blondie a dancing star.
In spite of refusing the earlier invitation to join the 1 Chance 2 Dance auditions, Gabby joins the 1 Chance 2 Dance auditions. I don’t know much about dance, but I don’t think anyone else in the group portion of the audition knows either. Gabby’s skills attract the attention of Valerie and some boy who is meant to be handsome, but his makeup washes him out.
Gabby has only just arrived in town, but that doesn’t stop her from having secured a volunteering gig at the local hospital. She meets a woman who looks very ill and won’t stop talking about her son.
Back at school, a boy almost gets hit by a car driven by the Fonz. Gabby saves his life. But no more time for that! The results from the audition are out and Gabby’s in! The Fonz makes fun of her and her friends’ squeals of joy.
Gabby is approached by the handsome boy from the auditions who asks her to be his dance partner. After Gabby excitedly agrees, she is cornered by the Neapolitans. They call her a liar and make fun of her unfashionable boots.
Gabby heads to the counselor’s office to ask if her schedule can be rearranged to accommodate her dancing dreams. While she waits for a counselor, she runs into the Fonz and they have an argument. He wears a backwards cap.
After some boring admin regarding dancing, Gabby finally gets to go home. However, she’s intercepted by the Fonz. He begs for her help in Literature class because he is failing. Gabby initially blows him off but eventually relents.
We get a dance/study montage where Gabby and the boys fall in love with each other and also learn English.
Gabby has a sleepover with her friends because I guess that’s a teenage girl thing. Danna and Jude spill the beans that the Fonz used to date Valerie.
Back at school, the Neapolitans sexily talk to the handsome boy about chemistry class. (Note: It’s not very sexy) They pivot to sabotaging his dance relationship with Gabby. Their diabolical plan works and the handsome boy swaps Gabby for Valerie.
Meanwhile, Gabby’s mother is an alcoholic and ends up in the hospital. She apologizes and becomes a better mom.
After visiting her mom, Gabby decides to pop over to the sick hospital lady who is getting a dance show from her two children. One of them happens to be the Fonz.
Gabby is impressed by his moves and having just lost her dance partner, uses this opportunity to ask him to join the competition. He agrees even though he gave up dancing a long time ago. Probably when he was in high school in the mid-90s or something.
We get another dance and school montage set to the film’s titular song 1 Chance 2 Dance. Also, the Fonz’s dad is dead.
Gabby’s social life is on the up. She is invited to a Neapolitan party, but doesn’t commit. She also gets asked out by a guy but refuses that, too. I think she just doesn’t want to be popular.
The Fonz begins to show that he has feelings for Gabby, but the Neapolitans throw a wrench into the budding relationship by having two girls talk smack about Gabby within his earshot. He starts blanking his crush.
After hearing that the Fonz is going to the Neapolitan party, Gabby and her friends go so that Gabby can get back on his good side. Jude makes out with a cowboy. Gabby drinks too much without knowing it. The Fonz saves Gabby from a handsy guy and they make up. She also fights with Valerie which leads to her hurting her foot.
There’s some family drama, but that’s resolved rather swiftly so that Gabby can dance with the Fonz.
It’s the night of the big dance competition. Everyone is excited. Even Gabby’s absent father makes an appearance. Gabby and the Fonz dance to a knock off version of Total Eclipse of the Heart. The judges have such a hard time deciding who should win that they ask the Gabby and Valerie duos to do some improv dancing. They are bad judges.
Gabby and the Fonz win. They kiss. FIN.
I hold no illusion about this film. It’s bad. It tried to nick various tropes, characters, and song types from other iconic teenage films as a shortcut to making a proper film. It did not work. There were too many storylines that were given half-hearted attention as well. Alcoholism, absent dads, mean girls, dance competitions. So if you like watching old people be teenagers, then by all means watch it.
- This is a terrible way for me to get back into the Netflix Garage thing.
- Based on the title credits, I think this film takes place in the 90s. The music and coloring look like it’s trying to be Clueless.
- But now based on the clothes, I think it’s the 80s. Gabby’s hat has not been seen since Pretty in Pink and no one wears giant bows in their hair.
- They make multiple references to Gabby being 17. It’s an odd thing to bring up in several different scenes.
- The characters reference Radiohead and a film like this should NEVER mention Radiohead.
- A lot of the music sounds like it’s from the 2000s. I’m struggling!!
- Gabby’s new town is somewhere in California. For some reason, a few characters have Southern accents. I generally wouldn’t note this, but they make such a big deal that everyone is from this small California town.
- No, wait, the music is New Wave. God, this is a mess.