Who's in It:
Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Mario, Heavy D, Rachel Griffiths
The Basics: A PG-13 thug meets an art-school princess, and even though they're from different worlds, they begin dancing together and practicing for the big show. The one that's going to mean the difference between her getting to join a major dance company and having to go to barf college. Guess what happens? C'mon, guess!
What's the Deal? This movie proves you can have a budget of 35 cents, actors hired for their Abercrombie & Fitchcatalog looks and/or dancing ability, a script written by the same manatees that slap together Family Guy and a choreographer for a director, and still have Touchstone give it a wide release.
Why Take the Lead Is 100 Percent Better; a List With One Spoiler:
1. Cast of reasonably charming young actors vs. cast of people who don't even seem to enjoy being in the same room with each other.
2. In Take the Lead, you don't have to cringe over Six Feet Under's Rachel Griffiths slumming for a paycheck.
3. Better dancing and dorkier costumes.
4. No attempts to grit it up and "keep it real" by murdering one of the supporting characters just before the big show. Yeah, that was the spoiler. Sucky movies deserve to be ruined.
Porn vs. This: Just look at some of the interior scenes and see how the terrible lighting creates big shadows behind the actors. That's not supposed to happen.
That's What Stanley Kubrick Said, Too, Coincidentally: I just read an interview with choreographer-turned-director Anne Fletcher in the latest Los Angeles Times, and she said, of directing, "It was pretty easy." That settles it. I'm going to go be a director of a major studio release too. I want some of that easy cash.