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STUDIO: MTV
MSRP: $99

RATED: UNRATED
RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • The Making of Turn the Beat Around
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailers
  • DVD Credits

The Pitch

A twenty-something who knows nothing about Disco wants to bring it back and two guys are in love with her. Can she overcome this terrible music and defeat the odds?

The Humans

Director: Bradley Walsh
Writer: Jessica Sharzer
Starring: Romina D’Ugo, David Giuntili, Adam Taylor Brooks, Brooklyn Sudano, Shauna MacDonald

The Nutshell

Zoe (Romina D’Ugo) has big dreams. While sweeping the floor of her dad’s restaurant, she dances with the broom and imagines a better life. One where she choreographs other dancers (because her favorite movie is Honey). Her boyfriend Chris (Adam Taylor Brooks) is a dancer and her best friend is a DJ. Poor little Zoe is the only one left out because her daddy says dancing is stupid and she needs to sweep the damn floor.

After a failed hip-hop music video audition thanks to the scheming Malika (Brooklyn Sudano), Zoe encounters Michael (David Giuntoli) at the new dance club he owns. Unwarranted, she tells him all about Disco. Michael doesn’t think people would enjoy it, but Zoe obviously knows everything and forces her DJ friend to play “I feel love” by Donna Summer. Since this movie needs a plot, people in the club enjoy the Disco music, and because this is fictional, Michael decides to buy a new dance club and put Zoe in charge of training the dancers and advising him on Disco aesthetics.

Zoe forms a group of rag-tag dancers and asks her mom for advice on Disco because her mom is really, really old and she feels like she needs to remind her of this all the time. Throw in a love quadrangle and you’re ready to Turn the Beat Around.


Just a small town girl. Living in her lonely world.


The Lowdown


This is the kind of movie where the lead character’s name is Zoe and people randomly burst into dance. That should be enough to tell you whether or not you will enjoy it. The filmmakers seem intent on making us believe that Zoe is white throughout this entire film. Her mom is white. Her dad is white. Zoe is something that is definitely not white. Someone needs to tell Zoe she was adopted.

The plot is just a rehash of most dance films. Girl has big dreams, everyone doubts girl, girl has a boyfriend, girl is in love with someone else, girl almost doesn’t fulfill dreams, girl’s boyfriend makes it easy for her to dump him, everything works out at the last second, dance number, happy ending. It’s the most highly improbable story ever formulated. First, we’re supposed to believe that Zoe, who is approximately 21 years old, knows anything about Disco beyond ABBA and cocaine. Second, we’re supposed to believe that you can just walk into a dance club, tell some rich dance club owner (who is not balding, sweaty, and/or unattractive) about Disco, and he’ll just hand you the keys to a new dance club and say “Go for it!”


The actors of Turn the Beat Around would like to take this moment to teach you the
Heimlich Maneuver.


I’m also concerned about the message this sends to young adults. Zoe’s boyfriend is a complete asshole. He doesn’t believe in her, calls her an amateur, fucks her ultimate enemy, and her response is, “You should have put the stereo on” because she could hear them having sex. The worst part is that she almost gets back together with this guy. Her options are a rich guy who I’m pretty sure just wants to sell her on the concubine black market or a guy who sleeps with the enemy and has questionable facial hair.

I watched Turn the Beat Around with my 17 year old sister and her two friends (one male, one female), which made the experience more bearable. If you find yourself forced to watch this ridiculous movie, I suggest you do so in a safe place with good people. It’s almost like trying hallucinogens for the first time. Be sure the doors are locked, the windows are safe-guarded, you’re somewhere comfortable and familiar, and you have a trip-buddy. The acting is terrible (don’t tell me you expected quality thespian work from MTV), the plot is preposterous, and the cinematography doesn’t exist. Scenes are often too dark for a film that is filled with pretty people and shiny skin, and in some scenes (especially the opening scene) you can see the edge of the set. You know, where the set ends and the studio begins.


All you need to be a DJ is cool hair, intentional 5 o’ clock shadow, and a Mac Book. And
remember kids, FLESH IS WEAKMOR!


The Package

The Making of featurette is a very basic, 10 minute documentary on how fun it was to make this pile of garbage. There are about 6 minutes worth of deleted scenes with unfinished audio and/or visual elements. Nothing special. In addition to all of these glorious extras, you get a trailer for part one of the final season of The Hills on DVD. I have never watched The Hills, and after this trailer, I can tell you that it’s about several very tan girls and a creepy guy named Spencer with a flesh-colored beard (I won’t lie, I am somewhat acquainted with the antics of Spencer and his girlfriend Heidi). Spencer is hitting on a bartender, Heidi is mad, Heidi and another girl cry about memories, and there’s a part with fortune telling. I knew delirium was setting in during Turn the Beat Around when I wondered if watching The Hills would be more entertaining. You now know my secret shame.

The other special feature is just the DVD credits. In case you missed them while you were celebrating the end of the movie.


Now show me on the space hooker where the bad man tried to touch you.

2.0 out of 10