Center Stage: On Pointe full movie review - Just For Teens
If you're as old as I am you can remember those movie-of-the-week films that played out on television with regularity. They were well made, for the most part well acted and offered a decent night's entertainment.
Most were not films that you would consider classics or worth revisiting but on rare occasion a few of them were just that, the majority not much so. This film falls into the latter category, a well-made movie that the teen scene might enjoy but that for the rest will just seem something to pass the time.
Having never seen the previous films in this series the characters were new to me. Apparently this film only ties into the second. The American Ballet Theater has fallen on hard times. No one seems interested in the classic form of ballet, instead opting for the modern style in vogue. With no choice but to take on the style as well, owner Johnathan Reeves (Peter Gallagher) accepts his fate and the newest group of students will include this form as well.
Among those new students is Bella Parker (Nicole Munoz), sister of Kate Parker from the previous film, a prima ballet dancer. Bella does not have the same inclination as her sister and is more in tune with the new style. She applies and is accepted from among the top students applying. When she gets to the schools training facility she hides who her sister is from the rest of the students.
Bella is faced not with just the problems of learning the classical form of dance or the new form but with the attitude of the main ballet teacher, Lorenza, who feels that anything other than classical ballet is less than worthy of the time and effort of her students. All I could think is she must not be aware of the possibility of the school closing with this attitude. She rides Bella non-stop.
The students are paired up as couples so they can fairly compete when it comes to the slots available for them on the regular staff. The competition is fierce and the two camps, classical and contemporary, find themselves at odds from the get go. Can Bella make her dreams come true of performing on the stage at the American Ballet Theater? Can she reach goals set by her sister's success? Will she help to transform the company with this new style? And will she find love with her partner? The usual backstage stories are found here. Romance with your partner, competition with the snooty students, a teacher who is almost willing to sabotage the entire group because of her uncompromising attitude. In the end *SPOILER* all is well and everyone gets to go home happy.
It's not that this is a bad movie but to be honest is offers nothing new as far as films go. Granted there are some formulaic films that are all the better for it but movies like these feel more like fodder to fill shelves, fulfill contracts or to pad out pay station's playlists. While none of the performers here do a bad job none of them stand out either. It would be nice to see them succeed but it's hard to see that happening based on this film. Gallagher seems to be here long enough to make a quick cameo and pick up a paycheck.
All that being said my guess is that young teens might enjoy the film. There isn't anything too racy for them or anything that will leave them emotionally scarred for life. They'll get that teenage cutesy type romance that films like these deliver, the dancing styles that appeal to them and attractive enough actors to hold their attention. As for adults they'll probably be playing solitaire on their cell phones while the kids watch this one.