Thursday, August 14, 2014

Strictly Romance

Evidently, August is Celebrate Romance Month! (It's also National Catfish Month, National Eye Exam Month, and my personal favorite...Water Quality Month).

Back to romance!

I recently watched one of my all-time favorite movies again (for the 10,000th time)...STRICTLY BALLROOM. And it made me realize that all of my favorite things about romance are packed into this one, quirky, kooky, adorable Australian film.

For those of you who have never seen it (OH MY GOD! HURRY UP AND WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!), STRICTLY BALLROOM is a 1992 film about a risk-taking ballroom dancer. The characters are colorful. The ballroom dance outfits are outrageous. The music is catchy. And...well, here's my list of why this movie is #1 for most romantic in my personal stash!


by Penelope

1. The hero has moves. As in, dance moves. SEX-AY!

2. There is an ugly duckling-to-Cinderella-transformation story. Swoon!

3. There is a grumpy, underhanded villain. With a super bad toupee!

4. There are plenty of dramatic black moments.

5. There is fantastic, quirky humor.

6. There are hilarious secondary characters, including Scott's sweet father, insane mother, 
various and assorted ballroom dancers, and some cute kids, too!

7. The setting is perfect. From the cramped practice studio, to the enormous ballroom, 
to Fran's quaint home. They all perfectly complement each scene.

8. The heroine is overlooked and underestimated by everyone. 
But she has an iron will and determination that sparkle. 
As well as a sweet vulnerability that make the viewer cheer for her happy ending.

9. The hero is a cocky, swaggering know-it-all at the beginning of the film. 
But he gets taken down a peg or two by this geeky girl. And her dad. 
And suddenly...he gets it. The big picture. 
Not just about the dance. But about...the love. And romance!

10. The music kicks ass.

11. The dance kicks ass.

12. The scene at the end of the movie where Scott slides along the floor right next to Fran, 
then stands up, staring at her with the most intense, incredible look on his face, 
kicks romance ass like there is no tomorrow.

Clip Time! WATCH THIS!
(I recommend watching the whole clip, but the stand up-hot look is at 2:03.

All of the things that make this movie pure gold are the same things I look for in a romance novel. Character transformation, setting that comes to life, secondary characters who add wonderful texture to the story. Humor that makes me laugh out loud. 
And sweet, vulnerable, optimistic love. Love that makes characters willing to take chances. 
Love that shows two people they are stronger together than they are alone.


For more posts about why romance kicks ass, check out the CELEBRATE ROMANCE website
All your favorite authors are there chatting about LOVE, baby!
Also, Laura Florand's post is up today. Check it out!

Love is in the air,


Tales of Whimsy said...

I can't remember if I've seen this movie. Unacceptable. I must rectify that asap.

Sounds like you love SR like I love Dirty Dancing.

Unknown said...

Too right!!!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penny Watson said...

Hey Juju! YOU MUST WATCH IT! You will love it. It is sooooo sweet and romantic. Right up your alley!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Quinn! I'm always right. Hee!

Anonymous said...

I've lurked around your blog for a while now, but I have to overcome my shyness to join you in squeeing over Strictly Ballroom. How I love this movie!

To add to your list - It is a beautifully structured story. The ending reminds me of one of Shakespeare's comedies. The world is restored, symbolized by the harmonious group dance. (The opening group dance was discordant - lovely symmetry) I love that Scott and Fran's romance isn't just about them - it heals a family wound. *sigh* His parents dancing at the end always gets to me.

I also find the theme of "dancing your own steps" to be such an inspiration - for creating and for just living the life you were meant to live.

Here's a fan made video on You Tube that highlights that theme. I think it's really well done. Paul Mercurio (the actor who plays Scott) commented on it and he had some thoughtful things to say.

Have you watched the Lizzie Bennet Diaries on You Tube? It's my latest romance obsession. It's a quirky retelling of Pride and Prejudice - so well done. Here's the link if you're interested:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Strictly Ballroom. I enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I really enjoy your blog.

Penny Watson said...

Stmargarets---Thank you for un-lurking! I LOVE when Scott's parents dance at the end. *sniff*

Thanks for stopping by!