I have fond memories of seeing this movie in theaters. It’s one of those I saw on a whim, and didn’t know much about it. Subsequent to this, I’ve seen Step Up (2006) many times, and own it. Thanks to this movie, I discovered just how much I enjoy the art of dance; seeing the professionals perform it, mind you, not me
Step Up (2006) Film Review
Living on the wrong side of town means Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) hangs with peers who feed bad habits. Trouble finds him when he’s caught in an act of vandalism against the Maryland School of Performing Arts.. 200 hours of public service later, and Tyler finds his time now belongs to the school.
For the students enrolled at the school, they work as hard as they must to achieve their dreams. Nora (Jenna Dewan) is no different; she’s a classical dancer with a senior showcase on the line. When Nora’s partner is injured, she worries over finding a replacement rehearsal partner. In-between classes she spies Tyler dancing and the two agree to give a partnership a trial run. Between Tyler’s raw talent… and Nora’s training methods, sparks are bound to fly.
The Step Up franchise is definitely a young adult series, but I think this is the most “mature” script of the bunch. (This has two sequels already with a fourth in-the-works.) In part what makes Step Up so good is the acting: it’s really quite good. I have never seen Jenna (who is a dancer) in anything, but am impressed. She plays the part very well with a quiet, natural grace. Her dancing is elegant and easy to watch. Then it’s always fun to see Channing Tatum in another role because he plays all his roles with a certain emotional pull. This role is no different.
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We see as the movie goes on, he wants something better in life; and he’s willing to work for it. I love the way he treats Nora although I don’t think the story means to be so innocent, but their relationship is almost old-fashioned without the normal filth. Also, bonus fun trivia: after meeting on-set, Channing and Jenna later married. No wonder they have good chemistry!
So much of the movie is, at the heart, a really beautiful experience. (It isn’t all just physical connections through dance.) You’ll see examples in the interaction between Tyler and his foster sister (Alyson Stoner, Cheaper by the Dozen). Nora and Tyler take their relationship very seriously (an extremely rare tactic in a Hollywood romance). The respective transformation everyone goes through is a hard lesson to learn, but they are lessons that will be beneficial to each character. This makes the story so much more than just a romance.
CONTENT: there is quite a lot of suggestive dancing and immodest dress. Profanity is at a minimum but does slip through. One minor character is involved in a shooting, and dies which impacts several people. Step Up (2006) is PG13.
Photos: Touchstone Pictures