Senior citizens may be old, but they can do anything you and I can do! Such trite affirmation platitudes are the stock and trade of Gotta Dance, a you-go-grandma portrait of the 2007 New Jersey Nets’s elderly dance troupe the NETSationals that boasts only enough substance for a three-minute local TV news story. For reasons never mentioned but presumably because of professional sports teams’ misbegotten desire to pack every free moment during games with peripheral, often gimmicky “entertainment,” the Nets decide to stage tryouts for a senior citizen dance team which would perform at six home games. They ultimately assemble 12 women and one man—all of them over 60, from New York and New Jersey, and unprofessional but experienced dancers in some capacity—to learn hip-hop routines under the tutelage of the team’s primary dancers. They’re bad at first, then better, and when they hit the court during halftime, they’re a huge hit and quickly become a minor media sensation, appearing on morning talk shows to shake and shimmy, in the process becoming the very aren’t-they-cute act that the Nets had envisioned. Director Dori Berinstein and her subjects insistently suggest the NETSationals are proof positive that growing old isn’t the same thing as being dead, but since this obvious fact is all the troupe’s existence has to impart, the arbitrarily titled Gotta Dance has nowhere to go except into faux-drama about whether their lack of preparation will cost them a final performance, as well as into individual snapshots of each dancer crafted so cursorily that the woman remains primarily defined by age throughout. Except, that is, for Betsy, an “introverted” kindergarten teacher who constantly talks about her hip-hop-loving free-spirit alter ego Betty and, in the process, provides a bit of bizarre schizophrenic duality to this otherwise one-note affair.
- Mitropoulous Films
- 93 min
- Dori Berinstein
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