Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m celebrating with my one true #chickflick love – the dance movie. Today, it’s Anne Bancroft, Shirley MacLaine, and Mikhail Baryshnikov in The Turning Point.
The Turning Point (1977)
I don’t believe in being sorry. We are what we are.
I hadn’t ever seen The Turning Point, so when it popped up on my Netflix recommendations, I was thrilled. If there is one “guilty pleasure” in my life (and I really don’t feel at all guilty about it), it’s a good dance movie – specifically, ballet. Something about the bodies, moving more gracefully than I’ll ever hope to, combined with the music, and the layers of leg warmers on tights. Ballet has all of the beauty of femininity, and also all of the strength. It is a pleasure.
Going into this, I was really hoping to present to you the most absurd, obscene, magical ladies’ night double feature of all time. Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, hopefully soon to be joined by Magic Mike: Magnum or something equally as crude.
What I got instead was a lesson in “direction matters,” and “here’s what the same movie without Steven Soderbergh looks like.”
So, here’s a film I love, along with a film I had to stop five times during viewing because I just CAN’T EVEN with its bad jokes and creepy whipped cream gags. But seriously – that first one? It’s good.
Magic Mike (2012)
Mike? I think we should be best friends.
I saw Magic Mike in a Round Lake, Illinois Regal Cinemas at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday. The theater was not empty like my usual weekday matinee (I love going to see movies alone, and I love when it’s just me and my own private screen – and under $10), but almost entirely full and very, very loud. The audience was majority women, seemingly over the age of thirty-five, sitting in groups of four or more. It was like every lady in the area took their office lunch “out” for the day.
Is it a rom-com? A romantic drama? A woman’s picture (hands down my favorite dated term)? We throw this classification around so casually, yet do we really have a general definition of the genre? Is it even quantifiable as a real genre? Honestly, I’m a woman and a film addict, and I wasn’t really sure what qualified something as a chick flick. So I did what any great scholar would do: I Googled it.