Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Salsa. Why did it have to be salsa?

I don't dance. Like, ever.

Fine. Maybe a little bit at my wedding, and sometimes with the kids, but overall? No. 

It's likely a coordination thing, combined with a complete lack of rhythm that's the culprit. But let's be honest, the real reason I'm not out there shaking my ass like a madman? Confidence.

(Did I mention I don't drink, either?)

Also lacking confidence is Bruce Garrett, the main character in this year's Cuban Fury. Played by one of my favorite people alive -Nick Frost- Bruce has plenty of the aforementioned coordination and rhythm, sure. But after getting his ass kicked moments before a dance competition as a kid, the thirty-something year old has grown into an incredibly timid man. His dancing days are in the past, as Bruce tells himself that he won't dance again.

Like, ever.

If only there was a way to reignite his passion? 

Oh, wait. I got it. How about the only reason a man ever steps foot on to a dance floor in the first place? Yep, you guessed it: a beautiful woman. And in Cuban Fury, she's played by the lovely Rashida Jones. 

There's no need to tell you the plot, as I'm quite positive you've seen this movie before. Someone stops doing what they love, after tragic events in their past, only to be forced back into it years later. It could be anything really, but here, obviously, it's dancing. Competitive dancing, actually. Of the salsa variety.

While I can't recommend this one on any semblance of originality, I did find the cast impossibly charming. Even Bruce's douchey rival, Drew, played by the lovably slimy Chris O'Dowd, entertains, in what is usually an awful role. But even better, we get to have our souls bored into by the intense gaze of Ian McShane, who plays Bruce's long-lost dance coach, Ron Parfitt. For my money, even a cameo by McShane makes a movie worth watching, let alone seeing him devour scenes as a hot-stepping Obi Wan Kenobi. 

Yep. There's even time for an elaborate dance-off.
Somehow though, even the great McShane is trumped by Kayvan Novak, as Bejan, Bruce's intensely gay friend. This guy starts out as one of those characters that make you shudder whenever they appear, but by the end I found myself enamored with him. Honestly, Novak damn near steals this movie.

As ridiculous as this flick is, there is a certain joy in watching the um, shapely Frost tear up a dance floor. It's likely just me (and my forever-smoldering adoration of Chris Farley), but I really enjoyed seeing the big guy bust a move. Though there are some bits where it's clearly not him, I found myself smiling regardless.

What won't have you smiling, are the Yays and Boos. To say that they have two left feet is being kind, as well...*whispering* they don't have any feet. 

Whatever that magical Persian saying was...
I need that tattooed on my face.
  • Young Bruce used to compete with his sister as his dancing partner. That's fine. But to get pumped? They totally unleash the Thundercats battle cry. If you can read that sentence and not have to say it aloud to yourself f--king immediately, you are a better person than I am. Or in your twenties. Which may be redundant.
  • Like a milk truck hitting a brick wall.
  • I enjoyed the bits when Bruce hung out with his loser friends. That seemed pretty genuine.
  • They overuse of the word Fanta still makes me smile.
  • It was probably only two, but I loved each of the (what felt like) 900 Back to the Future references.
  • That parking garage dance-off was pretty epic. Not to mention the little cameo buried in there, too.
  • One of Bruce's talents? Identifying dogs by their silhouette. I think I cried when I heard that.
  • And finally, possibly the highlight of the film: McShane winks. Why? Because that's what McShane does.
  • Making someone eat their sequins seems pretty harsh, no?
  • I got a number. It was a zero. Aww.
  • Bruce's bike is pretty bad.
  • Whoa, whoa, whoa. I'm all for some old-school shit, but what the Hell? A new car has a cassette player? No. Sorry. I know we need a place for Bruce's mixtape, but still.
  • Oh, and speaking of...the mixtape. I spent many a night working on those. Many a night. Is that pathetic? 
  • I hate that moment where the Lovable Guy can't speak up to the Hot Girl. Hate it.
  • Or that moment when the Lovable Guy walks in at the worst possible time...moments before running away without hearing how it was a simple misunderstanding. Lame.
  • And finally, the sad realization that I will never be someone who dances. Unless of course, I find myself in a montage, sweaty and giving it my all. That's the only way people get good at stuff, right?
A few days ago, my wife and I celebrated our sixth anniversary. And while I'd love for this to be the moment I tell you that I took her out dancing for the first time, instead we pawned off the kids and went to the movies. The catch? We didn't pick the kids up until the next day. Which is something we haven't done before. 

Like, ever. 


  1. I dream of having dates like that, where I don't have to pick up my son until the next morning. Unfortunately no one wants to watch a kid that's up at the buttcrack of dawn every day. *sigh*

    This movie sounds weird. Like, these are good actors, what are they doing in this?

    1. Let me tell was magic. And when my mom seemed cool with it, I was like soooo....same time next week? She didn't bite.

      I have no idea what they are doing here, honestly. None.

  2. I'm with Brittani. This just sounds strange.

    And yeah...start drinking. You'll dance more.

    1. It's not so much strange as just...unnecessary. But I regret nothing.

      Maybe if I start dancing I'll drink more?

  3. I had to watch this because I love the cast. Even better than Nick Frost and Chris O'Dowd is Olivia Colman, who's one of my favorite British actresses. I thought, "How could a film with this cast suck?" Alas, I was wrong. Like you, I did enjoy watching Frost on the dance floor, though. I have never NOT liked Nick Frost.

    And unlike Dell, I don't particularly recommend that you start drinking. Because I drink, and I STILL don't dance. Apparently, I can't tolerate nearly enough alcohol to overcome my lack of coordination and confidence. Considering a second glass of wine puts me to sleep, that shouldn't surprise you.

    1. I wasn't familiar with Colman, but her performance here was very solid. I enjoyed her character's 'f--k it' attitude.

      That said, this movie was certainly underwhelming, but I think I liked it a lot more than you did. I wasn't in a particularly good mood/place and spending an hour and a half with Frost was what I needed. Though, let's be honest...this story never needed to be told. They should take this entire cast and simply film something else.

      I'm 35. At this point, I can't imagine I'll ever drink, even if it would help me tear up a dance floor. The way my friends put it....they dance solely so they can get laid.

      Maybe if I danced while cleaning the bathroom?

      As for the wine...whoa. I imagine anyone that homeschools their kids would probably welcome a third glass of wine any day...but then again, they'd also welcome the sweet relief of sleep, huh?