Center Stage

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Dance students aspiring to become professionals discover that behind the bright lights and glamour of the stage lurk many harsh realities. Jody (Amanda Schull), Eva (Zoe Saldana) and Maureen (Susan May Pratt) are among 15 hopefuls accepted by the American Ballet Academy in New York to study with the masters. Director Jonathan Reeves (Peter Gallagher) warns them that only three female and three male dancers will be chosen to join his company. The girls face fierce competition in daily classes and harsh rules for their leisure time. Beautiful Jody catches the eye of dashing Cooper (Ethan Stiefel), the principal male American Ballet dancer who quickly breaks her heart. Sassy Eva, a very talented dancer, has a terrible attitude and a fiery temper that threaten her future. Maureen is cursed with a pushy, domineering mother who almost ruins her daughters life. Some wonderful ballet scenes from Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake, plus contemporary jazz and modern dance numbers will delight dance fans of all ages.

These starry-eyed teenagers learn that winning a spot in the prestigious ballet school creates pressures few are prepared to handle. Maureen rebels against both her mother and the school by becoming anorexic. Jodys acceptance in the school is based more on her looks than her talent, so she is humiliated in every class. She also finds out what she thinks is love is merely a one-night-stand to Ethan. Maureen also falls in love and becomes sexually involved with a pre-med student, which is treated as acceptable because her boyfriend cares for her. Thats a dangerous but common message for todays teenagers. One of the male students jokes about his sexual orientation and openly flirts with other men. Underage drinking, all-night parties and hangovers are presented as acceptable ways to vent frustrations. Evas talent is eventually rewarded despite her bad attitude and disrespect for authority. When not dancing, Eva and the others spout off 13 obscenities and 26 profanities in their dialogues. Too many misleading messages about acceptable teenage behavior dims the lights for CENTER STAGE.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (12) times Mild 1, Moderate 11

Obscene Language: Many (13) times - F-word 1, s-word 7, other 5

Profanity: Many (26) times Regular 10 (G 2, GD 1, G-name 1, G-sake 2, J 3, C 1), Exclamatory 16 (OG, OMG)

Violence: None

Sex: Implied twice (unmarried couple in bed; girl leaves mans apartment)

Nudity: Near nudity - Several times (brief dance costumes)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (sensuous dance movements - one simulates sexual activity; man caresses womans clothed breast; sexually explicit joke)

Drugs: Several times (alcohol drinking at parties and nightclubs, hang-overs, smoking)

Other: Dancer harms self (anorexia); dancers bloody, bruised feet shown; implies unmarried sex OK if partners love each other; disrespect for authority ultimately rewarded

Running Time: 113 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and dance fans

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