(Originally published in buzz magazine on 1/26/2008)
She thought she outgrew the inner city — that she left the vicious cycle of urban crime and poverty behind to attend a private school in a white bread suburb. But when her sister died, Raya (Rutina Wesley) ran out of money and returned to face the life she hoped to escape. She almost immediately comes into conflict with Michelle (Tracey Armstrong), an old friend still embittered by the fact that Raya considers herself too good for the ghetto. After the high school principal discovers Raya and Michelle’s bickering escalated into a full-blown fistfight, she forces Raya to tutor Michelle twice a week in exchange for not permanently damaging her academic record with a suspension. Frustrated and desperate to escape her hellish condition, Raya turns to competitive Step dancing as a means to afford private school tuition.
In short, an overuse of generic dance competition footage trumps the film’s noble goal of constructing a tangled web of complicated relationships.
College Film Reviews >