Patton Oswalt, a brilliant stand-up comedian and actor, has a bit in his routine about movies. I'm not quoting here, but he explains that he "wants movie titles to tell him exactly what the movie will be about." His best example is one of my favorite films, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Those three words tell him, and everyone, exactly what the movie is about and whether or not someone will enjoy watching it (though I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't). Though not as direct, How She Move, a film that is basically a clone of Bring It On with step dancing (or stepping I don't know), tells the audience just what the movie is all about. As a copy editor and writer, I knew that How She Move's grammatically disastrous title would trigger a neon sign in my brain that read "DO NOT WATCH" or "Hell's Here (mmm Batman Returns reference). Aside from the fact that the film concerns an artistically suspect subculture and its title does for syntax what Mortal Kombat did for spelling, How She Move is about as unpleasant and unoriginal as any film I've seen in some time.
If you are the kind of person who doesn't trust reviews, let me stress this - you should really take this one into consideration before you waste an hour and a half of your life.
Let's talk about the film's story first. I'm pretty sure describing it as a waste of time; every moviegoer in the world has seen this narrative played out dozens of times. Take one part female scholar, add a dash of inner city "getting out," toss in a dash of drug abuse and finally, stir in some seriously awful music mixed with what even the most liberal of definitions wouldn't call "dancing." Pop it in the clich oven and 90 minutes later, you have a piping hot loaf of crappy movie. The short version is as follows: A private school girl who was born in the ghetto is forced to return home after her sister O.D.'s. The girl then embraces the culture of her roots and competes in a team based stepping competition. The end.
On top of the title's grammar being atrocious, the actors and script seem to be trying to live up to its asinine legacy. The "actors" are never convincing, or even passable, though it isn't entirely their fault. The script deserves some of the blame as well. There are plenty of groan-inducing lines in the film, some of which come pretty close on the stupidity meter to Revenge of the Sith's "Nooooo!" or Spider Man 3's dance sequence.
If I haven't turned you off yet, I'm about to. The worst part about How She Move is the concept the whole film is based on - stepping. The sequences have such herky-jerky camera work that they would be right at home in either Cloverfield or The Blair Witch Project. Even if the stepping was worth watching (it isn't), it will require a lot of slow motion pauses and rewinds on your DVD player to fully grasp what is going on. Worse yet is the whole idea of stepping. If you aren't familiar, stepping is basically a whole lot of stomping feet and undecipherable hoots and hollers. Please, someone get Ben Vereen, Gene Kelly and Savion Glover on the line; How She Move's nitwits are doing their best to destroy modern dance, and something tells me that actual dancers will be pissed off upon watching this train wreck. People make fun of Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo on an almost daily basis, but held up next to How She Move, the much maligned movie looks like Citizen Kane.
Perhaps most unsettling of all is what you'll find on the back of How She Move's packaging. A little logo states that this awful film was nominated for a Grand Jury Award at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. In one fell swoop, Sundance has just become the world's most irrelevant film festival. Personally, after I found out that How She Move was not only shown at Sundance, but also nominated for an award, I'll definitely think twice before seeing a film that was a darling of the festival. Sorry Robert Redford, you are officially on my enemies list (just kidding).
How She Move doesn't have a single redeeming quality. The script, acting, music, direction, culture and stereotypes it reinforces are beyond awful. The only positive that came out of viewing this film is that I now believe that if Mystery Science Theatre 3000 came back, I could write the script for the episode. Do your brain and your high school English teacher a favor; stay away from this film.