I’d like to blame the pandemic for my occasionally lowered standards for what I call entertainment these days. The amount of Hallmark Christmas movies I consume, however, would call that out for the lie that it is. The truth is that it’s sometimes OK to watch a simple movie with minimal expectations and just enjoy yourself. Enter Netflix’s Feel The Beat.
Sofia Carson plays April Dibrina, a dancer struggling to make it in New York City. A career-ruining incident forces April to head back to her small town, where she’s ready to hide in shame. Once there, her old dance teacher Barb (Donna Lynne Champlin) talks her into helping a ragtag group of young dancers as they prepare for an upcoming competition. April isn’t going to help them for selfless reasons, though. She wants a chance to meet judge Welly Wong (Rex Lee) who could possibly resurrect her crushed broadway dreams.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s you’ve probably seen it before. There’s literally nothing surprising coming from Feel The Beat. Well, maybe there’s one thing surprising: Feel The Beat is hella diverse. Not just ethnically diverse, but diverse in body sizes and abilities as well. One of the young dancers is deaf, and sign language is woven throughout the film. There is a moment where April asks how she can dance if she can’t hear the music. That’s where we learn that little Zuzu (Shaylee Mansfield) can “feel the beat”. (OK, she actually said she can feel the vibrations, but “feel the vibrations” doesn’t work as well as a movie title.)
There are cute kids and fun dance numbers. Feel The Beat checks all of the boxes when it comes to acceptable family-friendly fare. What it doesn’t have is a particularly compelling story. I all but dare you to be surprised by anything that happens in the movie. All of that said, there are worse ways you could spend your next family movie night.
Feel The Beat is streaming now on Netflix.
About Feel The Beat
After failing to find success on Broadway, April (Sofia Carson) returns to her small hometown and reluctantly is recruited to train a misfit group of young dancers for a big competition.