Strictly Ballroom
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -1 1/2

To set the stage, STRICTLY BALLROOM opens with a gala dance contest in a huge present day Australian ballroom. Colorful, elegantly dressed couples glide around the floor in perfect harmony with exhilarating background music. The scene then shifts to Kendall's Dance Studios where Australian dance champions, hopefully, are being trained. The most promising by far is Scott Hastings (Paul Mercurio), but his dance partner has just recently been injured. The least glamorous and adept girl in the class, Fran (Tara Morice), insists that she could be Scott's new partner. Reluctantly, Scott gives her a few trials and discovers she has great potential. She blossoms into an attractive, accomplished dancer, and they find themselves falling in love. Few believe he and Fran have the slightest chance of winning the upcoming prestigious Pan Pacific Grand Prix dance contest. Further, a dishonest contest judge develops a scheme to make life difficult for Scott. But Scott and Fran develop an impressive Paso Doble dance routine and are convinced they can win. All the while, the audience is treated to some magnificent dancing, much of it Latin American style. Also interspersed is lots of slapstick comedy and comical characters. STRICTLY BALLROOM may not win any movie awards, but it's a fun, colorful Australian musical comedy.

Fran as the ugly duckling blossoming into an attractive dancer and winning Scott's heart is appealing and inspiring. Also, both Fran and Scott are loved by their parents. Fran's family is poor, but her Spanish father is an accomplished dancer who helps them develop their dance routine. Fran and Scott do not become involved sexually which is so often the case in today's movies. The language is disappointing with five obscenities, including 3 s-words, and some regular profanity. One brief comical intercourse scene is both offensive and completely out of place in the wholesome storyline. Some of the dance costumes are revealing and dance movements sometimes become suggestive. The obscenities, profanity and one sexual situation prevent us from giving a positive acceptability rating to this otherwise appealing film.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: Miramax Films, 18 East 48th St., Ste. 1601, NY,NY 10017

Crude Language: Mild - Twice
Obscene Language: Several (5) times (s-word 3; other 2)
Profanity: Several (5) times - Regular 3 (JC, J); Exclamatory 3
Violence: Several times - Moderate (mashing face, striking, slapping)
Sexual Intercourse: Once (partially obscured, comical context, no nudity)
Nudity: Near nudity - Many times (revealing costumes)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (suggestive dance movements)
Drug Abuse: Few times (alcohol drinking)
Other: None
Running Time:
Intended Audience:

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