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Freak Dance Appreciation Thread

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I'm surprised a topic like this doesn't already exist. I've seen this a few times now and been nagging at my friends to check it out, too. I figured that this would be a good place for those who have seen the UCB film, written and directed by i4h's own Matt Besser, to discuss it amongst ourselves. That being said there will be (at least on my part)




So for those of you who have not yet seen it (what are you doing!? Do what you can to watch it NOW!) just beware that if you don't want to be spoiled, and there are a few little twists and turns, then stop reading and leave the thread. I apologize ahead of time to those who may find this post too long, but I consider it my love letter to the wonders of Freak Dance.


First of all, there's a part of me that does wish the UCB4 had larger roles, though I understand that based on the source material, there's not much else they could have had to do since it's primarily a "youth-driven" script and full of pretty complex dance moves. I loved each of the UCB4's respective roles and though I wished they were in it more, it was great to see them being just supporting roles to the rest of the cast, all of which are talented and hilarious on their own. Very strong cast.


Also, what an amazing attention and utilization of tropes, from dance flicks in general, (rich girl learning to become urbanized, dance club threatened to be shut down, death of a mentor, dance battles, rival dance troupe) to the characters themselves. GREAT collection of all the "diverse" character tropes (mostly self-involved "light-skinned black man", Latino former dealer, the bespectacled nerd, the ethnic girl who can't read, "The Man," etc.)


I've also noticed a number of not great reviews online, and though comedy is subjective, I'm prone to think they just didn't "get it"... that it's satirical (or is it farcical?) and painted at times in broad strokes intentionally for "dramatic" effect. It just brings to the forefront how absolutely ridiculous all the other "serious" dance movies are, all of which are exponentially more unwatchable and offensive to the intelligence of the film watcher. (Step Up, Honey, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Save the Last Dance, Center Stage etc.)


Some of the moments or jokes I particularly enjoyed:


--The entire hospital dance sequence in the beginning is absolutely fantaastic and REALLY set the tone for the rest of the movie.

--Great uses of foreshadowing and Chekov's guns. Pretty much everything introduced in the script came back around and served a purpose.

--Mouth closeup of "damn dirty dancers."

--The blocking (framing?) of Funky Bunch's junk in the foreground when talking to the hospital receptionist.

--I'm actually pretty impressed with the singing done by Besser and Poehler. Who'd have thought?

--NOT a big fan of the fart at the end of Besser's "Bathroom's too Dark to Pee" song.

--"Easy with the Bible"

--Allan McLeod's obnoxious laughing killed me. In the sense I died a little bit inside each time. But I'm sure that's what he was going for, so you can't really hate on a fellah for a doing a role perfectly by annoying the shit out of me.

--Sassy always wearing jeggings

--The guy in the wheelchair dancing with just his torso.

--I can't tell you how much I enjoyed Funky Bunch knocking out the dancer dressed as Patch Adams. I don't know why, but I really did NOT like that dancer extra.

--Amy Poehler's reacting to the Barbie as if Cocolonia.

--"I work at a slaughterhouse."

--The random subtitling of some of Barrio's dialogue. Well, dialogue is used loosely. ("where" is used at one point when he said "donde" "marijuana" for "marijuana")

--"Pot knocked down building 7" was one of the best one-liners in the film, in my opinion.

--The vitruvian man.

--The borderline "Ghost" homage as F.B. and Cocolonia cut up the pig.

--Besser in those glasses looks a lot like Matt Stone at the end when he takes his fake 'stache.

--Funniest looking pig carcass.

--The aggressive dancing "gang" Barrio encounters while trying to find weed before running into Andy Daly.

--The barge going down the street.

--I particularly enjoyed picking out the cameos by Earwolf regulars. Most were obvious, like Meadows' Irish Cop (brilliant, heel-kicking exit), Andy Daly's straight-laced weed buyer, Horatio Sanz as the dead brother, and a quick blink-and-you-miss-it appearance by Paul Rust as a weed fiend. Also all of Adomian's characters. Danielle Schneider and Casey Wilson nailed it, too.

--Adolf Hitler Jr.'s ripping off the mustache to reveal a larger mustache. In fact, I was very pleased that "in-story" his mustache and Besser's were fake, because they were SO fake they almost took me out of the story. I said "Oh, come on!" the first time I saw Besser's.

--I'm also very happy that Silent Girl was a conscious choice. I didn't realize until the second time she was referred to as "Silent Girl" by Asteroid Asteroid. Until then, I had notice she didn't say anything, or even lipsync any of the songs, and wondered if she was cast for her dancing abilities but was fresh off the boat or something and couldn't speak English. Then when they called her Silent Girl, I spent the rest of the film thinking it was written in to justify her lack of English. Of course I was proved wrong when she's revealed at the end and speaks flawless English.

--The Drunk Uncles.

--Everything Hal Rudnick did.

--Was that Jon Daly as the announcer? I didn't see the character listed in the iMDB cast and credits. On that note, every arbitrary reason he disqualifies people in the end Dance Fight and the fact we never see the character's upper face. (oh shit, I just realized it was the butler. I can't believe I missed that so many times)


--The tampon "Red Dawn" scene during Freak Chicken was certainly nasty, and they deserved to win with that move.

--And finally the gratuitous skateboarding re-entry of Besser at the end of the flick and the ending that was very Last Starfighteresque.


In a nutshell I just want to say thank you to Matt Besser for the laughs and work you put into this project. I've enjoyed it and will continue to badger my friends to see it for themselves. What about the rest of you? For those who have seen Freak Dance, what do you think?

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