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I know that some people on this forum have fond feelings for this incredibly goofy movie, and I thought that I'd share this very funny review/recap of the movie.

television without pity

WARNING: The article contains strong language and negative comments regarding Balanchine's "Stars and Stripes."

I also think the review is interesting as how someone who is not "into" ballet received the movie, particularly the big Stroman finale.

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I know that the internet has spawned many websites for non-writers to review at tremendous length anything their heart desires: even if they know nothing about film (and in this case ballet). But when the writer assumed Ethan Steifel was gay I stopped reading. Stereotyping is shallow, narrow-minded and indicative of low IQ.

And by the way: it's not funny, either.

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It is really quite lenghty, and I did find some of it funny, if not revealing. The reviewer is definitely more at home with reality TV (is there that big a jump from that to Center Stage, though?) and his gadar needs a tuneup badly. It did relieve me of any residual curiosity to see the movie.

Big Lee, did you mean "The Steadfast Tin Soldier?" rather than Stars? From the description (pas de deux, toy soldier, etc) I'd say it was that.

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It is Stars and Stripes, although it sounds as if this writer wouldn't have much use for Steadfast Tin Soldier, either.

Crude language aside, this is funny and on target, but goes on way too long, and making fun of Center Stage is about as challenging as dynamiting fish, IMO. She’s not a ballet fan, obviously, but she’s read Joan Acocella, or heard of her, and she knows who Balanchine is. That’s more than you can say for many. I’ve read Wing Chun before and I often like her stuff, although on the evidence of this she maybe needs to stop focusing on mass media entertainment products. There is more to life. She liked the Romeo and Juliet pas de deux, but nixes Stars and Stripes and the carnage committed by Stroman, which is exactly as awful as she makes it sound. Fair enough.

Political correctness note: Apparently these days some people are careful to refer to “ballerinas of colour,” but it’s okay to label a guy gay and toss around the term queer because, hey, he’s a dancer, isn’t he? I don't quite follow this.

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As dirac mentioned, it is definitely Stars and Stripes used in the movie.

I actually thought she was extremely critical of the way homosexuality was treated in a hypocritical manner by the movie. I obviously can't read her mind, but I think her feeling was that the movie did everything possible to background anything homoerotic about ballet by using a "token" gay character in Erik and making Cooper an almost ridiculously "manly man," to be more appealing to a general audience. All the characters were incredibly stereotypical, and I don't think that deflating Cooper's manly man character - who rides around on a motorcycle and has sex with any woman in tights - by labelling him obviously gay is offensive. I don't think she was seriously claiming she had special knowledge that Stiefel is gay in real life. Of course, I could be wrong.

And your right, making fun of Center Stage is like shooting fish in a barrell, but I still thought it was funny.

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Political correctness note:  Apparently these days some people are careful to refer to “ballerinas of colour,” but it’s okay to label a guy gay and toss around the term queer because, hey, he’s a dancer, isn’t he? I don't quite follow this.

PC Notes: "Queer" is acceptable usage if used by homosexuals to name themselves. Some gay activists even find it a better identifier than "gay" ("We're here, we're Queer, we're voters!"), but they are in the minority. It's kind of like the "n-word" among African-Americans. Perfectly OK there, sometimes even a pronoun, but not for use outside the group.

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Thanks, Mel. I'm aware of the distinction, but my impression is that this writer isn't part of the in group, although as Big Lee notes she is highly (and correctly) critical of the way the one -- count 'em, one -- gay character is treated in the movie. Membership status aside, I did think the relative freedom of her references here, in comparison with the caution of the rather staid "ballerina of colour" was notable.

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The only review I've encountered that was longer than the movie ...

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much -- that is, this girl clearly loved the movie. How else does she explain watching it hundreds of times in order to trash every tiny bit of it?

I gave up on the review because of its rambling and because the 'writer' is clearly not associated with the meaning of research. Most people with basic knowledge of current stars in the ballet world know that Steifel had to have it specially written into his company contract that he could ride his motorcycle -- there was nothing contrived about including it in the movie.

Yeah, and if he's gay, I'm shy.

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I know that the internet has spawned many websites for non-writers to review at tremendous length anything their heart desires: even if they know nothing about film (and in this case ballet). But when the writer assumed Ethan Steifel was gay I stopped reading. Stereotyping is shallow, narrow-minded and indicative of low IQ.

And by the way: it's not funny, either.

I stopped reading at the same point. How annoying.

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The only review I've encountered that was longer than the movie ...

I gave up on the review because of its rambling and because the 'writer' is clearly not associated with the meaning of research. Most people with basic knowledge of current stars in the ballet world know that Steifel had to have it specially written into his company contract that he could ride his motorcycle -- there was nothing contrived about including it in the movie.

Yeah, and if he's gay, I'm shy.

Oh ya, didn't I read elsewhere that Gillian Murphy is his girlfriend/wife?

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Hi!

Almost every day, like a good student, I read this board's "links" in a very feeble attempt to learn something about ballet. Here was a "review" I actually understood. Of course, I didn't learn anything; but, I laughed and laughed. Reading the descriptions of the dancing was hilarious. I couldn't have done it much better; I'd just know not to share it with the world! It was way too long and full of uncomfortable words and phrases that weren't polictically correct. I laughed anyway. I don't know Ethan Stiefel or Gillian Murphy, but I've met them. They make a lovely couple. I hear that the kids participating in Stiefel and Star's summer program on Martha's Vineyard enjoying reciting lines from the movie (especially the "pep" talk!) and that Ethan laughs right along with them. They say he's a "good sport" in addition to being a nice person. Thanks for bumping this up. Jackson starts at the end of the week and my nerves are already tightening with worry for all the competitors. The laugh this thread provided was much appreciated.

mouse

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