Now I had of course seen singer/dancer Jay-R before now (most notably in those ubiquitous Sun Cellular ads), but although I found him good-looking, I honestly didn't get what all the fuss was about till now.
The man can move. When you see him live, dancing with this somehow seamless harmony of energy and fluidity, you suddenly have an understanding of what masculine grace is all about. And he makes it look not just effortless, but completely natural, as if when he gets out of bed every morning he just has to do a little quick-step or he'd never make it to the bathroom any other way.
And he can sing. And he can actually act. And he just has this presence, this ineffable charisma and sheer likeability. Which is why I've officially gone from, "Okay, he's kinda cute, but how many times are they gonna show that ad?" to "Ooohh, Sun Cellular, let's watch!"
Ahem. Aside from Jay-R (Gasp! You mean there were other people in the cast?!), Audie Gemora, as the sorta-villain Reverend Moore, was terrific as he has always been; but Agot Isidro also surprised me with her quiet grace and strength as the reverend's wife (even managing to overcome the fact that she is clearly too young for the part). She actually drove me to tears, although mostly that was because I was so clearly envisioning myself in the same position 12 years or so in the future, trying vainly to mediate between my feuding husband and daughter.
A couple of the new songs in the play (as opposed to the movie version) were pretty cool, like the duet by the two mothers and the kickass "biblical" rap. But others just didn't mesh as well with the original soundtrack, seeming too Broadway in contrast with the overall rock sound. I also thought the stage direction was a touch messy, and both the choreography and the leading lady could have kicked it up a notch.
These things aside, though, I thought Footloose was a blast, and highly recommend it if you've a taste for musical theater.
If you're more of a cinema type, then you totally must see The Brothers Grimm, which Dean and I watched and loved last yesterday afternoon. To describe the plot would be a bit of a disservice, I feel, so let's just say it's one of the best movies I've seen all year--superb casting, acting, writing, styling, the works. Matt Damon continues to belie his cherubic looks with his admirable thespian restraint, and Heath Ledger was so good in his nebbishy role (as opposed to his macho performance in A Knight's Tale) that Dean refused to believe it was him until the ending credits rolled. Of course, you may know that I'm a fairy tale-lovin' nutcase, but even those with less of an obsession with folklore ought to enjoy this as a wholly-satisfying fantasy-adventure flick.
I don't think I've enjoyed a "buddy movie" this much since Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Which was about Shakespeare. Which--sigh--demonstrates yet again what a nerd I truly am.
Did you know...?
The first time I ever saw Dean (prior to actually meeting him) was in a play. He played an old guy marked for death in a Repertory Philippines production of Arsenic and Old Lace. He was all covered in wrinkle-makeup at the time, so how was I to know that one day I would find him hotter than Jay-R? (Hey, my husband can sing, dance, act, and write, ya know!)