Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Important Ongoing List: Dancing in the Movies

Best Dance Scenes in the Movies

1. Napoleon Dynamite. After this movie's static first hour, when Napoleon busts a move to save his friend Pedro's election chances, it's EXstatic (I was going to say "dy-no-mite," but I thought that'd be cheesy).

2. Peewee's Big Adventure. Big shoes, tiny suit, on the bar in a biker bar, to "Tequila."

3. Something Wild. This underappreciated Jonathan Demme film [note bourgeois/middlebrow knowledge of film director] features Jeff Daniels adopting the loveable larcenous ways of Melanie Griffith. At her high school reunion, Daniels does some truly great spastic voguing on the dance floor. Must be seen to be appreciated (also requires a subtle mind).

4. Big Fat Liar. Since I am a mom, I see many, many, many movies like this one, and this one's pretty good. In it Paul Giamatti plays a mean, snarky movie producer who, in the morning before he swims his laps, dances to "Hungry Like the Wolf" (prett funny right there, okay?) in his bathing trunks. Tiny bathing trunks. He dances like he means it, man. He's hungry. Like the Wolf.

5. Hitch. Kids, for the dancing alone, it must be seen, and one must concede its greatness. Kevin James demonstrating the white man's funk is priceless; predictably, the movie features a sequence at the end of the real movie with various configurations of the main characters dancing down a corridor of guests. You gotta see Will Smith pay homage to his past as the Fresh Prince.

I will add to the list as things come to me. I'm not putting obvious stuff, like Gene Kelly in anything, or Fred Astaire, or John Travolta/Uma Thurman, or any of that. I'm acknowledging that any list of movie dancing oughtta contain these, but it's no fun. Wait for future eccentric gems.

'Kay, I'm traveling today, so I've got better things to do than blog. Which is why I'm about to do them . . . right . . . now.


  1. My favorite dance scenes in movies are the totally random and extradiagetic (there's my big word for the year!!) ones. My absolute favorite would have to be in Hal Hartley's Simple Men. All Hal Hartley films have gratuitous dance scenes, but that one is my favorite. It may even be to a Sonic Youth song, but I forget right now.
    Also: I can't wait to see Paul Giamatti get Hungry Like the Wolf. I'm going to the video store. Right now! :)

  2. make sure if you think of more you
    send them to me--I haven't seen Simple
    Men, and I've only seen one Hal Hartley movie, whose title I unfortunately I can't remember--that Martin Donovan was in it and also Isabelle Huppert (is it Isabelle? Gosh!)

  3. I nominate Farmer Hogget's dance to revive the ailing Babe, in Babe. Also, Cameron's little rumpshake in Ferris Bueller's Day Off while speaking on the phone to the principal, classic.

  4. I just remembered a classic: the bar/club song with men in suits dancing to "I Can Dream About You" in Streets of Fire (which I had forgotten that Willem Dafoe was in. I have to go rent it again!). I used to try to imitate their dance moves when the song played at Friday night dances in the cafeteria. Do I seem dated now? It's not that I loved the 80s. . .but Prince lived there. (Okay, I loved the music/dancing of the 80s).
    Also: the dance scene in Breakfast Club, only for the Ally Sheedy pre-goth weirdo dance.
    Good Night!



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