How She Move Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Raya (Rutina Wesley) is determined to leave her troubled Toronto neighborhood behind to pursue medical school and future related careers. But not long after leaving for a private secondary school, the teen is called home because her older sibling’s substance abuse and the associated costs of addiction rehabilitation are costing what little money her parents have.
When the intervention proves too late, Raya finds herself robbed of her sister and her prospects. Now the academically confident girl is stuck back in the family’s low-cost housing apartment, forced to face her drug and dancing obsessed peers to whom she unceremoniously said good-bye only a few months earlier.
Still urgently wanting a shot at an upper-class education, Raya formulates a new plan based on an upcoming street dance contest in Detroit that offers a huge cash prize. Dusting off her moves, she begins to showcase her stepping talents and starts looking for a “crew” with which to enter the challenge.
Like many movies before it, this film about a desperate character entering a long shot competition in the hopes of a life altering opportunity isn’t likely to surprise you with its conclusion. Instead, the unexpected lies with the character development within the movie. This can be seen in the way the protagonist interacts with other young people, and especially in Raya’s relationship with bad-girl Michelle (Tracey Armstrong) who also lives for dancing—and drugs.
The girls collide in an informal dance contest at school that turns into a brawl (this fight is the most violent moment of the film). But thanks to a wise school principal, as punishment Raya is sentenced to tutor Michelle. An unlikely friendship develops between these two that exposes the positive and negative traits in both of them as Michelle deals with changing her course and Raya struggles with her prideful attitude. Other people in Raya’s path also cause the student to reassess who she is—most notably her mother who is understandably concerned for her child’s future after watching the circumstances leading to her other daughter’s death.
In showing us Raya’s world, we see images of teens using drugs, drinking and smoking cigarettes. Yet rather than glamorizing these activities, the storyline focuses on Raya’s recognition of how these habits are destroying people’s lives. One sexual expletive and another mouthed sexual expletive, along with mild and moderate profanities are used in the script. Sexual content is limited to a couple of low cut shirts and some suggestive dance moves.
Although it may not be groundbreaking cinema, this film does show how adolescents can change their lives by altering their behavior. It also depicts caring parents and an intelligent principal—characters that are in short supply in movies today. While it may not have a lot of new moves, How She Move may provide enough reasons, despite the drug and language content, to consider sharing this title with your older teens.Starring Rutina Wesley, Brennan Gademans, Cle Bennett, Tre Armstrong.. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release January 24, 2008. Updated May 2, 2009
How She Move
Rating & Content Info
Why is How She Move rated PG-13? How She Move is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some drug content, suggestive material and language.
This story of a girl’s resolve to leave her troubled Toronto neighborhood and secure a good education offers lessons on determination and pride. It also shows teens involved in destructive activities, such as the use of illegal drugs. However the focus of the movie is to show the negative consequences of these actions, and the protagonist wrestles with avoiding these behaviors while still needing to connect with and spend time with her peers. Sexual content includes some low cut shirts, suggestive dancing and mild innuendo. One sexual expletive, another mouthed expletive, and moderate and mild profanities are used. Violence is limited to a brawl between two girls while at high school.
Page last updated May 2, 2009
More parents' guide for How She Move after the break...
How She Move Parents' Guide
Raya’s sister was highly influenced by her peer group, which led to her eventual death. Now her mother is very concerned about Raya hanging out with the same group. Are her mother’s fears valid? How might the girls’ varying personalities affect their reaction to the similar circumstances? What might Raya have done to help relieve her mother’s worries?
The most recent home video release of How She Move movie is April 29, 2008. Here are some details…
How She Move dances onto DVD with theatrical trailers and three featurettes (The Characters of How She Move, From Rehearsal to Film and Telling Her Story). Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 (English and Spanish), with subtitles in English and Spanish.
Related home video titles:
Characters try to dance their way out of desperate situations in other films like Step Up, Stomp the Yard and Honey. A young man, who wants a brighter future than his community can offer, tries to escape by entering a science fair in the movie October Sky. A tutoring opportunity also spawns a friendship between two very different teens in The Mighty.