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Make It Happen (January 20/09)

Saddled with the thinnest of storylines, Make It Happen quickly establishes itself as yet another tedious inspirational tale revolving around a would-be dancer's efforts at transcending her wrong-side-of-the-tracks upbringing to become a professional hoofer. It's certainly not surprising to note that the film has been co-written by Duane Adler - he of such similarly-themed fare as 2001's Save the Last Dance and 2006's Step Up - as the scripter's reliance on the hoariest cliches that the genre has to offer ensures that there are few surprises held within the 90-minute running time (ie the movie seems to have emerged directly from a dance-movie template).

Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Lauryn, a small-town girl whose dreams of studying dance at a prestigious Chicago school are quashed after an arrogant judge shuts her down almost instantly - thus forcing her to take on a job as a bookkeeper within an up-and-coming burlesque club.

The excessive familiarity of the set-up is exacerbated by the unusually uneventful sensibilities of Adler and Nicole Avril's screenplay, with the pair's decision to emphasize Lauryn's increasingly tedious day-to-day routine proving disastrous - as the character's hopelessly predictable trajectory has been augmented with a series of equally eye-rolling encounters (ie Lauryn must deal with a bitchy rival, Lauryn romances a wannabe musician, etc).

There's consequently never a point wherein the viewer is able to work up any genuine enthusiasm for Lauryn's plight, which - ultimately - ensures that Make It Happen is unlikely to hold much appeal for viewers outside of the target demographic (ie indiscriminating teenaged girls might find something here worth embracing, admittedly).

out of

About the DVD: Alliance Films presents Make It Happen with an anamorphically-enhanced transfer, while bonus features are limited to a short blooper reel and 11 minutes worth of deleted and extended scenes.
© David Nusair