One of the most, arguably, iconic films of the 1980s is actually one of so-called professional critics' most-hated films as well. The public and movie lovers, however, really dug it. Me? It's a mixture in-between. I already knew about the music, and Jennifer Beals' role in the movie as I've seen bits and pieces of it on TV in the past before watching it in its entirety.
Beals plays 'Alex', who is 18 and working at a steel mill (males everywhere) in Pittsburgh. I'm assuming that was usually the norm in that steel town. Alex's night job is being a dancer, at a popular bar. Not the kind of dancing she wants to make a career out of, but enough to get her by! She does have dreams to make it, dancing ballet for the city of Pittsburgh. Her confidence plummets when she is intimidated by the requirements of getting in the place. Meanwhile, Alex reluctantly gets into a relationship with Nick (Michael Nouri), who also signs her checks. Despite of the age and class difference, Nick tries in every way to make her happy. This includes pulling strings to get her an audition at the Conservatory.
A lot of times people may consider this one predictable, and that's easy to see it that way. It parallels Saturday Night Fever in so many ways, but still very differently. This is about a girl who doesn't have good education and probably not much dance experience. She still aims high, despite of the unrealistic clouds that stand in the way. Her family is not seen or mentioned in the movie, but Alex said she came from Altoona, also in Pennsylvania. Now that she was in the big city, she had to go where she came to do. Getting in with the right people just paved the way for her.
I do believe the film kind of dragged. Some critics called this 'nothing but a series of rock and dance videos', as there were some overly-extended musical numbers. Don't get me wrong, I love the soundtrack! There's a reason why it was one of the most remembered soundtracks of the 80s, and because it went to #1 on the Billboard album chart. But in some cases, without the music, the movie wouldn't be that great. Which is why I'm deducting some points. I'd still watch this for the nostalgic 80s purposes!
My rating: 5 out of 10