I can’t remember where I first saw the trailer for C Me Dance, but i was reminded of it while browsing through Netflix’s Faith and Spirituality category. While it is no doubt a Christian message movie, no one, believer or not, would think about faith or spirituality much during or after the movie. If they are like me, they’ll most likely be thinking about The Asylum (who has their own faith film division). If they are smart, they’ll probably skip this movie. But i don’t know, with its cool title spelling (it’s got alphabets and shit instead of spelling words out, just like on those twitexty things!), and the hot movie trend of dancing, it may be appealing to the kids today (it was apparently released in theatres). If the PG-13 St3p Up 2 the Last Dance 3D movies are too risqué and not enough family values for you.
In an homage to either Duel or Maximum Overdrive, the film opens with a semi chasing a woman in her car with a baby. It may look funny at first because of the geography of the vehicles, with the semi chasing the car and the scene ends with the semi hitting the car head on. But it’s all part of -SPOILER- God’s plan, so your physics and logic is irrelevant.
The baby in the I.O.A.S. (Inconsequential with a capital I) grows up to be Sherri, played by Christina DeMarco, a high school ballet dancer. Not only did her mother die in the I.O.A.S., she also finds out that she has advanced stage leukemia. As the poster suggests, the devil himself also shows up, in a leather trench coat looking like that aging man at your local goth club who should not be wearing leather.
Awkward as it is, the first act is definitely the best part of the movie. With the dead mom, the demonic truck, the dancing, and the terminal disease, there are enough elements here for a TV movie of the week. And that’s all before Sherri gets superCHRISTpower and satan shows up. I was actually curious which direction the movie was heading.
But like An American Carol and all the other movies I watched during Spooktoberfest, C Me Dance is not really interested in telling a coherent story or be entertaining. Instead, it sticks to it’s agenda and message by abandoning everything that makes a good movie. That’s too bad cause I would love to see a Black Swan meets Devil’s Advocate.
There are still plenty of hilarity to be had, most of them come from Sherri’s newfound superCHRISTpower. Like your typical high-school-kid-turn-superhero movie, there is the discovery of superpower, the amazement at said superpower, the destiny and purpose of having such superpower. With great power comes great sermons. In addition to superhero movies, there are also hints of haunted houses and demonic possession movies thrown in without explanations.
Sherri’s superCHRISTpower is that whenever she touches someone, she gives the touchee a vision of Jesus being crucified. Like Christopher Walken in The Dead Zone. The touchee would then realizes their sins and go to church. My favorite one has to be the thirtysomething looking high school student who I think is supposed to try to rape Sherri. But obviously they can’t do that in a Christian movie, so he chases her on foot for about at least a mile and then tries to strangle her in someone’s front yard, in board daylight. Not one of those legitimate rape that I’ve been hearing so much about.
Sherri also uses her power to gain access to the media to preach. Thankfully, and mysteriously, most of these scenes fade to black just as she’s about to give a long sermon. She uses her power to negotiate with network executives to get herself on the air. Though she fails to get on the air at first, the superCHRISTpower comes in handy. It may sound like mind control but it’s all good, cause she’s spreading God’s words and it’s all part of the divine plan. Not only does she change those around her, her power also leads a porn kingpin to close all the adult book stores, convinces Hollywood to not release films that damages family values (fuck you, freedom of speech), makes a child kidnapper to release hostage, and my favorite: murder and rape goes down 89% (no words on whether her own attempted illegitimate rape counts as one).
The plot threads become looser than your mom as the movie goes on. About half way through things seem to be made up as they went along. And i haven’t even mentioned the leather-clad devil himself, who mainly growls and stalks Sherri and her father. Since the devil doesn’t seem to have much superDEVILpower, they probably should have just call the cops, something no one in the movie ever does. With barely enough material for one TV episode, the film strives to be taken as serious drama by having an ending Tommy Wisseau would be proud of.
Most of the dialogues serve as exposition device and telling backstories. The performance throughout is akin to seeing your friends’ homemade movie. DeMarco is easy on the eyes, not unlike that barista at your local Starbucks. Her father is played by the film’s co-writer and director Pastor Greg Robbins, who had his own sitcom on TBN in the 90s. Robbins looks like a combination of Beau Bridges and Greg Kihn, from The Greg Kihn Band. Only Hugh McLean as the pastor of the church they go to/hide from the devil seems natural.
Having sat through quite a few Asylum movies, there is nothing especially horrible or surprisingly bad here. There is also nothing terribly interesting, despite an interesting premise. The superCHRISTpower is not unlike how one is turned into a werewolf, vampire, or zombie. So it’s the opposite of an infection, but an infection all the same. Dramatically it’s a small step below the Twilight movies, but at least the heroine here actually has hobbies and goals, instead of lying around and staring. The target demo for the movie won’t mind that it fails in almost all filmic aspeacts, as long as it gets the messages right. For everyone else, there are better dance movies, satan movies, or Asylum movies to spend time on. Nothing for anyone to get upset about.