A movie about the dull people who live in an intense little community Down Under obsessed with ballroom competitions.
Virtually everyone in the film carries on in close-ups and sweeping long shots whirling across polished floors with arms and knees jabbing the air like hammers.
At the core of the fever and sweat is a fairy tale about Scott Hastings (Paul Mercurio), a young dancer who wants to invent his own steps and ignore the rules, and Fran (Tara Morice), a plain-faced gypsy girl and socially unacceptable “outsider” who turns into Cinderella at the ball whenever the music starts.
She takes Scott to meet her father Rico (Antonio Vargas) and grandmother Ya Ya (Armonia Benedito), who inspire him with lessons on how to dance the paso doble.
Mercurio has a lot of the young John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever in his pulsating gyrations, and the endless dancing is undeniably energised, but the rest of the movie is amateurish and corny, requiring great patience.
It’s basically an awkwardly directed, badly photographed Australian version of Dirty Dancing, but there are enough waltzes, rhumbas, tangos and fox trots here to keep your feet moving under your seat.