Feel the Beat parents guide

Feel the Beat Parent Guide

With a profoundly selfish and unlikable protagonist, this movie is an unpleasant viewing experience.

Overall B-

Netflix: Failing to make a big splash on Broadway, struggling dancer April returns home. Dejected and disappointed, she quickly finds a new task to distract her: training dancing students for a national competition. But April doesn't tell them why she's so keen on getting to the finals....

Release date June 19, 2020

Violence B+
Sexual Content B+
Profanity B+
Substance Use B+

Why is Feel the Beat rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Feel the Beat Not Rated

Run Time: 107 minutes

Parent Movie Review

We’re often urged to “follow our dreams”. But what if following your dreams hurts someone else? That’s a major question in Feel the Beat and the movie’s attempts to address it are ambiguous, incomplete, and ultimately unsatisfying.

This movie dances its way along the familiar path of the underdog dance movie genre. You know, a group of hopeless but determined young dancers aim for the stars and overcome the challenges that stand in their way. There are lots of glitzy costumes, some suspenseful moments on stage, and plenty of team bonding. The wrinkle in the plot revolves around the girls’ dance teacher. April (Sofia Carson) is a local-girl-made-good who’s starring on Broadway. At least, that’s what everyone in her small Wisconsin town believes. The reality is that April inadvertently offended a significant industry figure – and the interaction went viral online. Now a pariah in the dance community, April has returned home to lick her wounds and sulk. All seems lost until April learns about a national dance competition, which includes a teacher dancing segment. If she can whip the local dance class into shape, April will be able to dance in front of a major producer. Ever on the look out for her own interests, our profoundly selfish protagonist manipulates and bullies a group of little girls into becoming stepping stones for her career. And since people in this town apparently don’t use the internet, no one is aware of her self-serving motivations…at least, not right away.

The storyline makes clear that watching this show is not always a pleasant experience. April is almost completely devoid of empathy and oozes arrogance and self-pity in almost equal measure. For most of the movie, she treats her class of little girls with a level of cruelty that kicked my momma bear instincts into overdrive. Frankly, the only reason I can think of for watching this film is to make sure our kids understand healthy relationships with teachers or coaches. If watching this movie prompts a discussion about recognizing abuse and knowing how to report it, then the 107 minute runtime isn’t a complete loss.

That said, dance-mad tweens will probably enjoy the flick. Kids are famously unfussy media consumers and they will happily watch as the characters twirl and leap along the well-trodden storyline. Thankfully, there’s little content to worry about, with no violence or explicit sexual content, no recreational drug use, and only three swear words.

“Break a leg” is the traditional way to wish a performer good luck as they go on stage. While watching Feel the Beat, I almost wished that I had broken mine so I could turn it off before the end. There’s no other way to spin it: this dance movie falls flat.

Directed by Elissa Down. Starring Enrico Colantoni, Sofia Carson, and Dennis Andres. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release June 19, 2020. Updated

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Feel the Beat
Rating & Content Info

Why is Feel the Beat rated Not Rated? Feel the Beat is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: A woman accidentally knocks another woman into an orchestra pit: she suffers broken bones.
Sexual Content: Children dance in a sexually suggestive manner in one scene. A man and woman kiss on a couple of occasions. A “cutlet” falls out of a girl’s bra.
Profanity: There are three profanities in this movie: one term of deity, one anatomical word, and a scatological curse heard in a song.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult talks about giving kids allergy medication to make them sleep.

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Feel the Beat Parents' Guide

How do you know if your child’s coach or teacher is a bully? How can you protect your child from abusers and how can you have necessary conversations with your kids?

Very well family: Signs That Your Child’s Coach Is a Jerk

Play by the Rules: The rise of emotional abuse in children’s sport

Protect Young Minds: Are Your Kids Safe from Abuse in Sports? 3 Questions Every Parent Should Ask

TedX Talks: Echoes beyond the game: The lasting power of a coach’s words

 

Loved this movie? Try these books…

Chloe Pierce disobeys her mother and heads 200 miles from home for an audition to a dance conservatory. Her adventures are recounted in I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest.

Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes is the classic novel for dance-mad readers.

Twelve princesses get caught up in a dancing enchantment in Heather Dixon’s Entwined.

The third book in Sophie Cleverly’s Scarlet and Ivy series leaps into the world of dance. When the twins’ ballet teacher disappears in The Dance in the Dark, the girls start sleuthing.

A violinist falls for her competitor in Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez.

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