Lauryn Kirk

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Lauryn Kirk
Portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Gender Female
Occupation Student
Family Joel Kirk (brother)

Lauryn Kirk is a fictional character and the protagonist in the 2008 film Make It Happen. She is portrayed by actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Winstead was chosen specifically for the role. Seeing as how she is a dance enthusiast and grew up with the ambition to become a ballet dancer, she gleefully accepted.

Winstead was announced in the role on 11 July, by Rotten Tomatoes.

Basic Description[edit]

Lauryn Kirk is a 21-year-old cornfed farm girl living in Glenwood, Indiana and working at her family's garage as a bookkeeper. She was untimely orphaned and resides with her brother, Joel (Reardon), in Indiana. Lauryn aspires to be a dancer. Her mother desired to be one, but decides to raise a family instead, and passes on the ambitions to her daughter.

Lauryn is depicted as a sweet, caring if slightly tomboy-ish girl. Throughout the film, Lauryn brings a slingbag around, and doesn't know how to "dress" properly, but she was guided by her new best friend, waiter Dana (Thompson). Lauryn is further illustrated as a sensitive modest, but easily influenced person. She evidently feels a little uncertain of her abilities at times, and her worries might even get the best of her at times. Mary says that it's "easy to relate [to Lauren]", as her problems and her personality is universal.

Extended Summary[edit]

Desperate to depart from the ennuis of small town life, and seeking fame in the big city, Lauryn drives down to Chicago to audition for an entry in the renowned (and fictional) Chicago School of Music and Dance. Her dance, a cross between hip-hop and street dancing, is not welcomed favorably by the harsh judge, and she was rejected even before she even finished her dance. Moments later, her car gets towed off. Lauryn downs her sorrows in a café, where she meets the friendly Dana. Dana offers Lauryn a place to stay.

Dana frequently brings Lauryn around to shop, and proves to be a very loyal friend. She introduces Lauryn to a burlesque club called Ruby's, where she meets disc jockey Russ (Smith), fellow dancer Brooke (Roberts) and was given a job as a bookkeeper by clubowner Brenda (LeBlanc). After hours late at night, while she is alone in the club, Ruby decides to give the stage a try, and was caught by Russ.

One night, when Brenda finds herself short of dancers, Russ asks her to give Lauryn a try. Brenda agrees, and soon, Lauryn finds herself the new star of the club. She discovers a new kind of dance there, a mix between burlesque and hip-hop. The club eventually warms up to Lauryn's new dance moves, everyone that is except for rival dancer, Carmen (Bermudez), who sees Lauryn as a threat. She intimidates Lauryn through words; "People come here to see something special, not that stuff you do". Towards the end of the film, however, Carmen reveals that she only did that to encourage Lauryn further.

Soon, Lauryn and Russ begin dating, and they eventually form a relationship. He frequently takes her out for dinner. Although apparently somewhat of a playboy, Russ obviously cares for Lauryn. However, for some reason, Lauryn feels guilty for her parents' death, and vows to keep the family garage running.

She is portrayed as selfless, and has even kept her life on hold for 3 years to manage the garage. However, while she is off in Chicago, Joel begins to lose the business due to stacking bills. He goes down to Chicago to congratulate his sister on entering the school, but catches Lauryn during a dance at Ruby's. Overtaken by guilt, Lauryn returns home to Indiana to resume her work as a bookkeeper.

However, after seeing her dance joyfully in the garage, Joel then urges Lauryn to audition for the school again. This time, Lauryn's new moves are accepted and she acquires an entry. Lauryn returns to Ruby's to obtain her paycheck, and to apologize to Brenda, but finds a surprise congratulatory party there. The film ends with a dance.


Joel Kirk[edit]

Joel Kirk is the brother of Lauryn. He is shown to be a very protective and wary brother, as well as a loving and faithful son. He and Lauryn help keep the family garage open and alive for as long as they could, but the bills kept piling up and halfway through the film, the family came close to losing the garage, but upon realizing, Lauryn returns to Indiana and save the garage, although the eventual result of the garage remains unknown as the movie closes without mentioning or referring to it again.

Joel is also shown to be strict. He catches Lauryn red-handed in the act when he finds her dancing in the club, and they get into a bicker about it soonafter. Yet once he finds Lauryn is truly passionate about dancing, he supports her aspiration, and encourages her to give the audition another try again.

The character is played by John Reardon.

Critical Reception[edit]

Winstead did well with critics, and was generally welcomed favorably. "Winstead infuses every moment with an amazing amount of charm," says Teletext reviewer Victor Olliver. [1] "Winstead's performance just about compensates for the generally poor direction," writes Matthew Turner. [2] In addition, Des Partridge of Courier Mail says, "Mary Elizabeth Winstead [has] star quality." [3]


Lauryn is seen dancing to:

  • "Teach Me How To Dance" by Che'Nelle, in the basement of her home in Indiana, rehearsing for the audition.
  • "Steamy by Tamara Powell", the first half of the song she dances first to in Ruby's.
  • "Shawty Get Loose" by Lil Mama ft. T Pain & Chris Brown, the second half.
  • "Break It Down" by Alana D. plays when she goes around rehearsing out on the streets.
  • "Love Ya" by Unklejam", during her outfit dance in Ruby's.
  • "Beware of the Dog" by Jamelia plays while she dances along with Carmen and Brooke in Ruby's.
  • "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa, the song she dances to in the garage near the end of the film.
  • "Just Dance" by Lady Gaga plays during her second, and final audition.


  1. ^ "Teletext Big Screen Film Reviews". Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Make It Happen - Film Review". Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2009-08-06. 

External links[edit]