Fancy Dancing (2002)   2 comments

Tanya Allen as Karen in Fancy Dancing

FANCY DANCING (2002)

Starring

Jason Priestley as Asa Gimmel

Tanya Allen as Karen

Ewen Bremmer as Bernard Schiff

Dave Thomas as Uncle Billy

Dave Foley as Nat Porter

Deborah Odell as Charity

Connor Price as Michael Pelham/Stuart Gimmel

Dan Chameroy as Mar Stoddard

Stephanie Graham as Doreen Gaynor

Directed by Brock Simpson

91 Minutes Long

No MPAA Rating

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

With this post I continue my series of reviews of selected Tanya Allen movies.  Per my custom, I choose to leave most of the film’s content for a viewer to discover, but I endeavor to encourage one to do that.  Know also that I write this post immediately after having watched the movie again and taken screen captures.

Fancy Dancing is a pleasant and sweet movie, maybe even a good date movie, assuming that one’s date enjoys singing and dancing in the style of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  To state the case differently, one who likes stoner comedies and scatological humor will certainly dislike this film, which, if rated in the U.S.A., would probably be PG.

Asa Gimmel

Asa Gimmel has lived off a trust fund for too long.  He sleeps rather late and spends many nights in a jazz club, where he lives in a time warp.  Asa, you see, is stuck in the 1940s.  He knows the songs of that era and spends too much time watching cheesy musicals starring Mar Stoddard, the Canadian counterpart to Fred Astaire, and his frequent costar, Doreen Gaynor.

Asa also likes to pursue women he meets in the jazz club.  Early in the movie, he follows one young woman home.  Consider this clever writing:

WOMAN:  Who’s that?

ASA:  “Tis I.

WOMAN:  O, you’re that guy who lives at the Winchester Hotel.

ASA:  I beseech you, please do not steal into the darkness of your chamber, but lend an ear to an unworthy suitor.

WOMAN:  Okay, but I should warn you that it’s going to take more than arcane pronouns to get me into bed.

Schiff

Living in fantasy land with Asa is his good friend and fellow musician, Bernard Schiff, or just Schiff.  He speaks in a frantic and barely understandable variety of English, but he comes with subtitles in the middle of the screen.  Schiff spends much of the move fretting over the loss of the “groove,” which he swears his girlfriend stole from him.  Later, however, he concludes that he did not lose the groove and could never have lost it, for “the groove is within.”  There is your motivational thought for the day, O reader.  “The groove is within.”

A Business Idea

Schiff decides to turn lemons into lemonade.  So he creates a new board game, Co-Dependent Quandries.

The Game

As you can see, O reader, it comes with a heart-shaped board.  Wow!

Asa with his son and ex-wife

Asa is also irresponsible and on the outs with his former wife, Charity.  She calls their son Michael Pelham, but he insists on referring to the boy as Stuart Gimmel.  And Asa thinks that a highland sword is an appropriate gift for the boy.  This disturbs Charity, who also objects the fact that Asa’s most recent child support check bounced.

Michael/Stuart

And Asa keeps his son up much too late at the jazz club.  As Asa asks, “What kid doesn’t like the cabaret?”

Charity and her parents, whom Asa calls “cricket-playing Anglicans” contemptuously (At least it is better than “limey bastards.”), read Asa and his uncle and aunt the riot act.  Asa will either become responsible immediately or lose visitation rights to Michael.

Uncle Billy

Asa’s Uncle Billy, who owns an advertising agency, agrees that Asa needs to learn responsibility.  So he forces Asa to go to work in the family business immediately.  So Asa learns how to get to work on time and how to plan an advertising campaign.

Nat Porter

Asa works under Nat Porter, an annoying man who prefers to have a lamp at eye level between himself and any other person.

He becomes concerned when someone lowers the map.

Karen

Asa works with Karen, who designs the advertisements themselves.  Asa concludes that Karen is weird, but that he likes her.  She thinks that he is also odd, but in a good way.

Karen and Asa

Asa is thrilled to learn that he and Karen have the same taste in movies and music.

At a Movie

They attend a screening of a Mar Stoddard-Doreen Gaynor movie, Song of the North.

It is really cheesy, but they enjoy it.

Asa and Karen

Asa and Karen get along very well.

That which follows is a sweet and predictable plot about how an interest in Mar Stoddard movies can lead to a successful advertising campaign.  Asa and Karen fall in love, of course, and everyone lives happily ever after.  Along the way we encounter a healthy dose of singing and dancing, some of it involving Jason Priestley and Tanya Allen.

True Love

I recommend Fancy Dancing highly.  There ought to be plenty of room for something as positive as this in a film fan’s life.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 8, 2011 COMMON ERA

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