Strictly Ballroom (1992) (Australian PG)

This feel-good, romantic-dance dramedy is a one I can watch over and over. The characters are way over the top, except for the two main characters. The initial camp and cheese of this doesn’t cloak the themes of this coming-of-age film, where Fran is an awkward girl whose Spanish family doesn’t fit in with the Australian culture they’ve moved into or the glitzy dance world she’d like to enter. Scot Hastings was born into a dancing family. He’s a young maverick whose dance heritage, his birthright, makes him a darling of the dance circuit–until he decides to veer off course and introduce new dance steps.

This is a modern day Fred Astaire, film, where dance is the language of self-expression and love.

The plot is simple: boy meets girl, boy doesn’t think much of girl, boy dances with girl, they fall in love, big dance finale. Don’t worry, you knew that was going to happen anyway. I haven’t given anything away really. You’ll cheer them along as they go against the system and find each other in the process. Honestly, this movie gets funnier after multiple viewings.

Fran gradually transforms from an insecure and homely girl to a gutsy, attractive woman. Scot breaks from the control of his parents.


following in someone else’s steps or setting or your own steps

Coming of age

Conformity vs. integrity

Dependence vs. independence

rigid rules vs. creativity

insecurity vs. confidence

Honoring family and heritage

I want so much to add photos from the film, but you just have to see it. A fun film for teens or adults. Some good messages for kids about integrity and inner strength.

The ending will make you want to put on heels and stomp around the house until the neighbors consider calling the cops. Don’t even watch a trailer. Just do it. Jump in! It’s weird and campy in the beginning, it might throw you, but hang in there. Lavish costumes, saturated colors, great dance sequences–

Hey, have you got the popcorn going yet?

I feel sure Fred would approve of this review. If you love dance and like a rom-com, I’ll be surprised if this one doesn’t satisfy.


I found this article, a psychological breakdown of this film.

I’d read if after you’ve seen it.

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