Step Up (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Anne Fletcher|
|Produced by||Jennifer Gibgot
|Screenplay by||Duane Adler
|Story by||Duane Adler|
Jenna Dewan Tatum
|Music by||Aaron Zigman|
|Edited by||Nancy Richardson|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Running time||104 minutes|
Set in Baltimore, Maryland, the film follows the tale of the disadvantaged Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) and the privileged modern dancer Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan), who find themselves paired up in a showcase that determines both of their futures. Realizing that they only have one chance, they finally work together.
Following a party, brothers Mac (Damaine Radcliff) and Skinny Carter (De'Shawn Washington), with their friend Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum), break into the Maryland School of Arts and trash the school's theatre, damaging many of the props. When a security guard appears, Tyler helps the two escape, accepting full blame for the vandalism himself. He is sentenced to 200 hours of community service, which is to be served at the school. While working, he peers in on a dance class and meets Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan Tatum), a student preparing for her "senior showcase", an audition performance which could determine whether or not she is offered a job within any one of the professional dance companies to attend the performance. When Mac and Skinny pay Tyler a visit on the school's lot, Nora curiously watches from a window as Tyler dances with his friends, mockingly incorporating a mashup of break-dance and the ballet moves he has recently observed. When Nora's dance partner, Andrew (Tim Lacatena), sprains an ankle, Nora finds herself unexpectedly without a partner for her routine. Auditioning some sophomore students to replace him, she decides that none meet her expectations. Tyler offers to help, but Nora refuses. After demonstrating that he can handle the routine however, Nora reconsiders and convinces Director Gordon (Rachel Griffiths) to allow Tyler to rehearse with her. During their initial practice session, Tyler is antagonistic toward Nora as well as her boyfriend, Brett (Josh Henderson), both of whom respond with haughty attitudes. As they continue to rehearse, Nora and Tyler grow closer, each teaching the other about their respective styles of dance. Tyler also befriends a musician at the school named Miles (Mario), who has a crush on Nora's friend, Lucy (Drew Sidora).
As Nora's bond with Tyler grows, one day, she takes him to a special spot on the waterfront, near a company for which her late father used to work, revealing that this is where she first envisioned her routine. She confesses to Tyler that she had always imagined it as an ensemble dance, rather than a duet. Tyler becomes inspired to help her dream come true and begins recruiting younger dancers from the school to perform in her number. Brett signs a recording deal with a company, but in doing so, betrays his friend, Miles, to get the opportunity. Disgusted by his betrayal, Nora breaks up with Brett. Meanwhile, Tyler continues to attempt a balance between his new goals, his new friends, and nurturing a troubled relationship with his old ones.
Tyler asks Director Gordon if she will let him attend the school, and she advises that he must prove to her that he deserves a chance. Upon hearing this from Tyler, Nora suggests that the showcase could also be used as his entrance audition. After dancing together at a club where Lucy and Miles perform, Nora and Tyler finally move forward with a romantic relationship. Rehearsals continue as normal, until Andrew returns seemingly healed from his injury. Tyler feels that he is no longer needed in the routine, and angrily accuses Nora of treating him the same way her ex-boyfriend treated Miles. He leaves the group and returns to janitorial work, his initial community service at the school. In the course of the training, Nora has been incorporating many of Tyler's suggestions for the routine, and finds that the new choreography is now much too difficult for the original partner to perform. Whilst in one of their practice sessions, Andrew falls over and, realizing he can not cope with the dance, resigns himself from the routine, and Nora is, once again, left without a partner. Crushed, she questions her efforts and considers abandoning her dance career, but receives an emotional confession and strong encouragement from her mother, who once opposed her future in dance. Nora transforms the choreography into a solo piece.
Later, Skinny is fatally shot after stealing a car, making Mac and Tyler realize that they need to make better choices in their lives. Tyler surprises Nora by showing up, last minute, at the evening of the showcase. He tries to persuade Nora to let him perform with her, and to forgive him for overreacting. She initially declines, but suddenly changes her mind as Tyler wishes her good luck and walks away. When the curtain opens, Tyler, Nora, and the ensemble of students perform their original choreography against Miles' latest musical score. After the performance, Director Gordon is beaming and the crowd is blown away.
Backstage, when a proud Director Gordon tells a fellow director from a professional dance company hoping to sign Nora that Tyler is a "transfer student", Nora is overwhelmed and embraces Tyler. She repeats advice given to him at their first rehearsal together, and the two share a kiss.
- Channing Tatum as Tyler Gage, a skilled but troubled dancer
- Jenna Dewan-Tatum as Nora Clark, an MSA ballet performer who falls for Tyler
- Damaine Radcliff as Mac Carter, Tyler's best friend
- De'Shawn Washington as Skinny Carter, Mac's younger brother who is later killed in a drive-by shooting
- Mario as Miles Darby, a skilled DJ and one of Nora's friends
- Drew Sidora as Lucy Avila, Nora's best friend
- Rachel Griffiths as Director Gordan
- Josh Henderson as Brett Dolan, Nora's conceited boyfriend
- Tim Lacatena as Andrew, Nora's original dance partner who becomes injured
- Alyson Stoner as Camille Gage, Tyler's foster sister
- Heavy D as Omar
- Babbal Kumar as dark dancer
- Deirdre Lovejoy as Katherine Clark, Nora's mother
- Jamie Scott as Colin, Lucy's boyfriend who later cheats on her
The film was well received by audiences but negatively received by critics. As of August 22, 2006, the film had an average score of 48/100 on Metacritic, signifying "mixed or average reviews", its highest score was 75 (from both Entertainment Weekly and The Boston Globe), and its lowest was a 25 from the San Francisco Chronicle. It scored a "Rotten" 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, the consensus stating that "this trite teen romance has too little plot and not enough dancing".
However, despite many bad reviews from critics, Step Up earned a total of $21 million in its opening weekend, ranking second in the North American box office and exceeding the film's budget of $12 million. As of October 19, 2006, the day it closed, it had earned $65,328,121 in the United States and Canada.
The soundtrack features music from Mario, Ciara, Drew Sidora, Kelis, Chris Brown, Within Temptation's Sharon Den Adel, Yung Joc, Blaire Reinhard, and Chamillionaire. J-pop singer Koda Kumi's 35th single But/Aishō was used as a theme song for the Japanese edition of the movie.
The lead singles from the soundtrack are Sean Paul & Keyshia Cole's "Give It Up To Me", Chris Brown's "Say Goodbye", and Ciara single, "Get Up" featuring Chamillionaire. It was released August 8. Other tracks include Kelis' "80s Joint", Anthony Hamilton's "Dear Life", YoungBloodZ's "Imma Shine" and Petey Pablo's "Show Me The Money". The title track is performed by newcomer Samantha Jade and produced by Wyclef Jean.
The following songs are featured in the film, but not included in the soundtrack:
- "The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)" – Black Sheep
- "Get It" – T.I.
- "Love Life" – Fatboy Slim feat. Macy Gray
- "Toma" – Pitbull feat. Lil Jon
DVD and Blu-ray
This film was release on DVD and Blu-ray on December 19, 2006, and on Blu-ray 3D on July 3, 2012.
Sequels and real life
Actors Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan began dating shortly after filming Step Up and married in 2009. Their first child Everly was born on May 31, 2013. Dewan hyphenated her name following the marriage and is now professionally known as Jenna Dewan-Tatum.
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