Bright Stars

Feel The Beat! 
Stars: Sofia Carson, Enrico Colantoni, Wolfgang Novogratz, Donna Lynne Champlin, Rex Lee, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Eva Hauge and Pamela MacDonald
Director: Elissa Down
Scriptwriters: Michael Armbruster and Shawn Ku
Composer: Michael Yezerski
Cinematography: Amir Mokri
Resonate Entertainment/Netflix
Rating: PG 13
Running Length: 108 Minutes 

In this Pandemic Year, most everyone feels like the under-achiever.  Can’t do anything right. Not to worry, here is a film to cheer you up.  “Feel The Beat!” is a warm film about getting what you want in life and at the same time, not overlooking the important things. Music and dance are everywhere here.  The star is Sofia Carson from Disney films (“Descendants”), and the soundtrack by Michael Yezerski contains “Let’s Do It” and Demi Lovato’s “Confident.”  Follow your dream, not matter what the circumstances.

“Feel The Beat!” centers on April (Sofia Carson) who really, really wants to be on Broadway During a rainstorm and on her way to an audition, she takes a cab away from an older woman. At the audition, the money person behind the production is the older woman, Ruth (Pamela Macdonald) and out goes April.  Not only that, but she fails at a dance audition, loses her apartment and has to return home to Wisconsin. Her head is still in the Broadway clouds and she doesn’t quite see the variety of people around her in Wisconsin.  We do---and if you live in a small town, you will know what I mean.  The former boyfriend Nick (Wolfgang Novogratz from “The Last Summer”) is still there as is April’s former dance teacher, Barb (Donna Lynne Champlin from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”) With nothing else to do, April decides to help Barb prepare a group of girls for a competition.  The girls are special in many ways and you begin to cheer them on.  But, in April’s heart, Broadway is the only way to go, so decisions have to be made.  What to do?

Sofia Carson takes the role of April and makes it her own. The comic scenes are her best, and musical abilities, top-notch.  Enrico Colantoni (“Veronica Mars”) knows how to do a Dad very well. Wolfgang Novogratz (“The Last Summer”) as Nick, the former hesitant boyfriend is always there at the right time. Rex Lee (“Young and Hungry”) as Welly Wong, the Broadway producer, steals his scenes. You will recognize Donna Lynne Champlin (“Barb”) from “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” All in all, this is an energetic cast with an energetic soundtrack.

What makes “Feel The Beat!”  stand out from the usual we-can-do-it films is the mix of girls in the dance troupe.  persity. The girls are enthusiastic and this is what April has to work with, their power and persistent attitude. Though there are some problems along the way, girl power makes its way through. Not only that, but we get a glimpse of what the girls’ lives are like at home.  Dance fans will enjoy it, and even if you don’t dance, snapping your fingers to the beat is acceptable. 


Copyright 2020 Marie Asner