Starring: Sofia Carson, Wolfgang Novogratz, Donna Lynne Champlin, Eva Hauge, Rex Lee, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Lidya Jewett, Sadie Lapidus, Johanna Colón, Enrico Colantoni
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Netflix’s family comedy directed by Elissa Down. The story follows talented, self-centered dancer April (Sofia Carson), who after failing to find success on Broadway, returns to her hometown and reluctantly is recruited to train a misfit group of young dancers for a big competition.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'You do what you have to. What you think is right.' - Nick (Feel the Beat) Click To Tweet 'That's the problem with being a perfectionist. Nothing's ever good enough.' - Frank (Feel the Beat) Click To Tweet 'Whatever you decide, just make sure that it makes you feel good about who you are.' - Frank (Feel the Beat) Click To Tweet
[after April’s audition]
Ruth Zimmer: Oh, I’m soaked to the bone!
Choreographer: What? That’s horrid!
Ruth Zimmer: Oh, my God.
Choreographer: What kind of selfish girl would do it to Ruth Zimmer?
[as she looks up and sees April]
Ruth Zimmer: She would.
Ruth Zimmer: So, you’re a really good dancer, are you? I’ll bet you’re really good. You look like you are. Like you put every hour of every day into sharpening every skill and every move so you can be perfect. But, missy, your dreams will never come true, because as long as I live, and I’ve got a lot of years left, I will make sure that you are never hired for any show, on Broadway, Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway! Your career is over, chorus girl.
April: Miss Zimmer, please…
Ruth Zimmer: Bring back your next choice, Collette.
April: I can explain. That won’t be necessary.
Ruth Zimmer: You’re done.
[after which April accidentally makes her fall off the edge of the stage]
[referring to her disastrous audition with Ruth Zimmer]
April: That wasn’t my fault. She slipped and fell.
Deco: Yes, and she broke her leg, and her wrist. Oh, look. Another person retweeted it to me.
April: How many people have watched this? A couple hundred?
Deco: Oh, more like thirty thousand. But who’s counting?
[as her father is driving them back to their farm in New Hope; referring to her mom]
April: Oh, God. I hope she hasn’t seen that video of me. Or people back here either, I would die.
Frank: Don’t get too full of yourself. People around here have other things to worry about.
Frank: It’s probably just me with a Google alert on you.
April: I hate the Internet.
April: I really blew it, dad. Such a failure.
Frank: Oh, honey. You know what will make you feel better? Cheese.
[as April runs into her dance teacher, Barb, at the grocery store]
Miss Barb: [to June] This is who I’ve been talking about. Yeah, the high school’s all-time greatest cheerleader.
Everyone in Store: Go Churners!
Miss Barb: And mommy’s biggest success story. She is a Broadway star! Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh! You have to come by the studio and say hi to the girls!
April: I would love to.
Miss Barb: Great!
April: But my dad’s been sick.
Frank: Who’s sick?
Miss Barb: Oh, no. Frank, are you sick?
Miss Barb: Oh, my God. Well, I’ll make you a casserole. That’s what I’m going to do.
[as April visits Barb’s dance studio]
Miss Barb: I know I only taught you for eight years, three months, and twenty-two days before you ended up studying in Milwaukee for real. But, you know, I kind of like to think I still had something to do with you becoming a Broadway sensation.
Miss Barb: While you’re home visiting, maybe you could teach a master class? Or three?
April: Yeah, let me get back to you.
Miss Barb: Because I was thinking, for next year, maybe, doing one of these.
[holds up a brochure]
April: A dance competition.
[as April is answering questions from the girls at the dance studio]
Oona: I can’t wait till I’m on Broadway.
April: Okay. You guys want to know how to get on Broadway? Simple. Never make a mistake in front of anyone important. Ever. But the thing is, you don’t really know who the important people are. So, really, you can’t make a mistake in front of anyone. Ever! And nothing can help you. Nothing.
[referring to June’s soft toy]
April: Not even your little pig. You manage to pull that off, plus talent, I’d say you have a solid point zero, zero, zero, zero, one percent chance of making it. Any questions? Nope? Great. Well, it’s been thrilling, really.
Miss Barb: Thank you for those inspiring yet realistic words!
Nick: The rumors are true. You’re back.
April: Nick. What are you doing here?
Nick: My sisters, you know, Sarah and Michelle. Did they wipe your memory while you were in New York?
April: No, I know.
Nick: But what are you doing back home?
[she looks over to Frank]
Frank: She’s back because I’m sick.
Nick: Oh, I didn’t know.
Frank: Neither did I.
April: I know I broke your heart when I ended things, not in the most thoughtful way, and I…
Nick: “Sorry to do this in a text, but we have to break up. Ape.” Well, see, it was very thoughtfully worded.
April: I just want to make sure that if, you know, there are any hard feelings, that we can…
Nick: Oh, April, April, April, April, April.
April: Did I say something funny?
Nick: No. No. No. It’s just, uh, look, Ape, that was high school. It’s history. Plus, it’s not like we were ever going to last.
[referring to the dance competition]
April: I’m not going to teach what I should be doing myself. I might as well wear a big fat “failure” sign.
Frank: [to April] You know, this competition doesn’t look so dumb. The finals are in Atlantic City with a bunch of muckety-muck judges.
April: [to Barb] I’ll do it! On one condition. We go all the way to Atlantic City. And I’m going to choreograph a killer Teacher Feature.
[during the first round of the Dance Dance Dance contest]
Tommy: Do their parents know they dance like that?
[jumps up from her seat in the audience]
Dance Mom: Wooh! Get it, girl! Make your mommy proud. Bounce. Ha!
Carla: Apparently so.
[as they are about to go on the stage for first round of the Dance Dance Dance contest]
Oona: I don’t want to go out there. I have an aversion to humiliation.
[Zuzu signs and Barb translates for her]
Miss Barb: “Yeah. Compared to them, we suck.”
April: Look, you’re scared. I mean, it’s your first time onstage. Plus, you’ve only had five days. I get it. But we only have to come in third place to make it to the next competition. It can’t be that difficult. So suck it up, and get out there.
Sarah: That’s your pep talk?
April: Grow a pair and do what you and Miss Barb rehearsed. Are you dancers or little girls?
Ruby: We’re little girls.
Judge Notes: [to April] You’re an incredible dancer, Miss April. Flawless. You really are. But you’re missing the whole point. It’s to showcase the students and what you’ve taught them. It’s not about you taking the spotlight.
April: Now, before we begin, there are three basic ground rules. Rule number one, focus! Clearly no one’s ever taught you how. No offense, Miss Barb.
Miss Barb: Oh, none taken.
April: So, from now on, anyone who speaks without permission, drops and gives me twenty push-ups.
[the girls laugh]
Lucia: Yeah, okay.
April: I’m not kidding. Number two, commitment. A dancer without technique is nothing. So right now, you’re nothing. Number three, do exactly what I say. Got it?
April: We have two weeks till Counties. Two weeks. Two. Not a lot of time to whip you guys into shape. So, from now on unless you’re asleep, or at school, you will be here. Practicing, day in and day out.
April: [to the girls] Feel the beat. There’s no syncopation here.
June: Then where can the sink go on vacation?
April: You. Push-ups. Now.
[after a failed practice session; to Lucia]
April: Eyeballs. Do I have to duct tape those to your face?
April: Fingers! I thought you could feel the beat. So why are you always behind?
April: And Pigtails. Okay. You literally have no idea what you’re doing. Don’t waste my time
and go learn the steps. Go!
April: What is the problem?!
Sarah: Maybe it’s that we have no idea what you’re yelling. You know, if we weren’t on our legs, we’d be on our butts!
Miss Barb: Okay. Okay. Alright. You know, why don’t you just take a moment to explain…
Sarah: Yeah. You know, how about you try teaching? Instead of leaving us clueless, standing here with our wieners swinging in the breeze.
April: You think you can do better?
Sarah: Well, you’re such a crappy teacher, I certainly can’t do worse.
[over the phone]
Deco: I thought you got banished to Idaho?
[after hearing April failing to comfort Ruby]
Deco: Your maternal instincts are beyond aspirational.
Miss Barb: [to June] Miss April’s kind of funny. You know, she always wants to be perfect. And, you know, she was about your age when she decided that she needed to become an amazing dancer. So, she started pushing herself harder, harder, and she forgets that other people aren’t as perfect as she is. So, we got to be real patient with her.
April: What is your problem? What happened to you? You weren’t like this before.
Sarah: Before what? Before you left, or before my mom died?
April: No, don’t use that as a crutch. I had to grow up without a mom too.
Sarah: Did she die?
April: No. My mom left me by choice. You want to unpack that one?
Sarah: Well, like mother, like daughter, I guess.
April: Excuse me?
Sarah: You left without even saying goodbye.
April: Sarah, people live their own lives. Get used to it. Besides, it’s not like I was dating you.
Sarah: Right. Then I’d at least have gotten a text message. But who cares about the dumb little sister anyway?
Nick: Sarah told me you guys had a fun class last night.
April: Oh, yeah. It was a barrel of laughs. I mean, I’m trying to help her, but it’s like a brick wall.
Nick: That doesn’t sound right.
Nick: Yeah, the part about you trying to help someone?
April: Ha-ha. Very funny.
[referring to Sarah]
Nick: Hey, look, she’s not going to put out the welcome mat just because you’re back. You know, you’re the reason she started dancing. You were her lifeline, and then, poof. You know, if you really want to help her, try remembering what it was like when you were in her shoes. You know, when you were all moody and wearing flannel.
April: That never happened.
Nick: Mm, pictures don’t lie.
April: [smiling] No. I have no recollection of that.
[translating for Zuzu] [to June and Michelle as they’re practicing dancing] [after one of their dance practices] [as they are cheering] April: Who’d have thought back in high school, you’d end up being so handy. April: You know, Nick, even if your life isn’t entirely what you pictured, I do really admire what you did. Dropping your life to take care of your sister… Nick: It’s not exactly the big plan we came up with. Nick: You know, we wouldn’t have worked out for a million reasons. April: Lucia, Sarah, Oona? Push-ups, now. [to Kari, after telling her mom she’s continuing with the competition] April: [to Nick] Look at you. Fixing barns. Fixing hair. [referring to the drinks Barb got the girls] Coach Buzz: Your girls wouldn’t know a triple time step if our girls were dancing it on their sad little faces. [after April falls on top of Nick from practicing The Star Lift] [arriving in April’s hometown] April: Are you happy? [looking at an old photo of Miss Barb] Deco: Well, if it isn’t the shrill little shoe thief. Deco: Where are my heels? Deco: Ugh, You Can’t Stop The Beat-ing us all over the head with that dusty newsflash. [after June lifts Dicky for The Star Lift] April: What if I blow it? April: You know when you told me that you came to New York after I sent you “The Text”? [after Welly Wong offers April part in his new show on Broadway] April: You know, I keep telling myself, “I’m a dancer. This is what I’m supposed to do.” April: I’m sorry, Mr. Wong, but I have to go back to the competition. If that means that you have to give my part to someone else, I understand. I mean, I don’t want you to, because I think that you need someone who honors their commitments. And you see, that’s exactly why I have to go, because I have nine little kids that I committed to. Now, I have a whole town that’s counting on me. So I have to go. April: [to the girls] Look, you have every right to hate me, but you earned this. You deserve to be here. So please, don’t sit out on this just because you want to get back at me. When I first met you, all I saw were flaws. And then I realized, that’s exactly what makes you spectacular. All those beautiful quirks and imperfections. And I’m so sorry that I left. It just, it took me a second to realize that we’ve become family. June: What’s wrong with you? [as they’re getting they’re last call onto stage for the finals] [as they’re about to walk on stage] April: [to the girls] You better kick butt, or I’ll kick yours! [after her opening night in the Broadway show] [last lines; after Welly surprises April by bringing her friends from Wisconsin to the theater]
Lucia: “Dude, you walked out after one class.”
Kari: We’re just kids. We don’t learn as fast as you professionals.
Oona: And what about rule number two? Commitment?
April: Point taken. If you promise to do what I tell you, and curtail the attitude, I promise to honor my commitment, and see it through to the end. Deal? Well, what do you guys want to do?
April: What is this? Noodle arms. You might as well just wave goodbye to Nationals. Wave goodbye. Bye.
April: That didn’t suck.
Lucia: We don’t suck!
[all the girls cheer]
Lucia: We don’t suck!
April: You still suck a little.
Nick: Yeah. I know, right? You know, not that any of this is how I pictured my life would be.
April: Yeah. Welcome to the club.
Nick: Oh, please. You were dancing on Broadway. I’d say your life turned out exactly how you thought it would.
Nick: I didn’t, you know, “drop” my life. You know, you do what you have to. What you think is right.
April: No, I know. That’s just what you do.
April: Running away to New York together. No. It’s not.
Nick: You now, Ape, after “The Text”, I went to New York, and then I saw you.
Nick: You were coming out of your rehearsal on 46th Street. And you had never looked happier. And then I knew. I had to let you go.
April: Yeah. No.
Nick: But I bet it would have been fun to try.
Girls: Yes, Miss April.
[Kari translates Zuzu signing]
Kari: “Shut up. You actually called them by their names. And it was right.”
April: So, I learned a name or two. Zuzu, drop. Twenty. You too, Kari.
Kari: But she made me interpret.
April: Oh, that’s forty.
April: Hey. That took guts. Now, uh, just don’t puke them up on me.
[the curler suddenly starts smoking]
April: Nick! Uh, smoke. Fire!
[one of Michelle’s curls comes off in Nick’s hand]
Michelle: What smells funny?
Nick: Nothing. Go back to sleep, Michelle.
April: Barb, what is that?
Miss Barb: Iced mocha with an extra shot of espresso.
April: An extra shot of espresso.
Miss Barb: Yeah. Don’t worry, I have allergy pills for the bus ride home. It’ll bring them right down. I mean, they’re for adults, but I just break them in half.
Royalton Dad #1: What did you say?
Royalton Dad #2: Oh, yeah? Well, your daughter’s grand battements don’t even reach ninety degrees.
Tommy: Your daughter has no turn out.
Royalton Dad #1: Your daughter has got no stage presence.
Tommy: You take that back!
Royalton Dad #1: Make me.
April: You have a cobweb in your hair.
Nick: Was this all part of your plan? Getting me to fall for you.
[April looks away]
Nick: Uh, Ape. I mean, come on, it was a stupid joke. You know, because we fell.
April: Yeah. I know. I get it.
Deco: Did somebody call for an over the top work of art? I’m here!
Miss Barb: I love my life. I chose this life. I love teaching. And I love owning my own business. And I love living in a town where, if I’m feeling a little under the weather, the next thing I know, there’s a casserole on my porch.
April: Well, you did way more than just make a few casseroles for us after my mom left.
Miss Barb: Oh, well, it…
April: I just don’t think I ever told you what a difference that all made.
Miss Barb: Well, you are making a difference for these kids. Whether you know it or not.
April: What is going on with this perm?
Miss Barb: [laughs] Oh, that is a lot of damage to the ozone right there.
Marissa Jaret Winokur: Oscar de Low-Rent-tah.
Marissa Jaret Winokur: Oh, I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Deco: Aw. Big Brother, you’re not that good an actress.
Marissa Jaret Winokur: I’ll have you know, I won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a musical.
Deco: [yawns] Oh, my God. My God. I’m sorry, what? Give it a rest, honey.
[Marissa throws her shoe at Deco]
Marissa Jaret Winokur: How’s that for beating you over the head?
Deco: Ooh. I’m going to keep this as collateral.
April: Okay. I think we got to go.
Deco: Oh, do we?
April: Uh, yeah.
Deco: I was just getting warmed up.
Marissa Jaret Winokur: That’s fine. That shoe belongs to RuPaul anyway!
Deco: Oh! You stole from RuPaul too?
Miss Barb: My daughter is a beast!
Nick: You’re serious? Wait. All those times in front of paying audiences, and you’re nervous about this?
April: Nick, I was just in the chorus. No one was ever looking at me. And now, everyone is counting on me. The girls, my dad, the town, and I can’t let everyone down.
Nick: Hey, how could you possibly let anyone down? April, what you’ve done for everyone? It’s amazing.
April: I really wish I’d seen you that day.
April: I mean, I finally got my dream. It’s the perfect show. The perfect role. I don’t know, I just, I thought I’d be happier.
Frank: Yeah. That’s the problem with being a perfectionist. Nothing’s ever good enough.
Frank: Says who? You do what your gut tells you to do. And if there’s any part of you that thinks that making a big splash on Broadway is suddenly going to bring your mom back, you can forget about that. There’s nothing you can do to bring her back. Because it wasn’t your fault that she left in the first place. She just left. So, whatever you decide, just make sure that it makes you feel good about who you are.
April: I mean, it’s what I’ve always wanted to be. I’d be stupid not to.
Frank: I didn’t say “what you are”, I said “who”. And I can think of nine little reasons why it wouldn’t be so stupid.
Dicky: How come you’re not yelling at us?
April: I want you to know how proud I am of all of you. You’ve all become the most beautiful dancers.
Michelle: You’re scaring me.
April: I’m disgusted by all this whimpering self-pity. Now, this is not how I trained you. So put on your big-girl pants. You too, Dicky. You get on that stage, or else.
Michelle: Clear for talent.
Lucia: Step aside. Fierceness is coming through!
Welly Wong: I have some notes. A couple tweaks. But it didn’t suck.
June: So what are we going to do now?
April: We’re having an opening night dance party.
[they all dance in street blocking the traffic in front of Ruth Zimmer]
[translating for Zuzu]
[to June and Michelle as they’re practicing dancing]
[after one of their dance practices]
[as they are cheering]
April: Who’d have thought back in high school, you’d end up being so handy.
April: You know, Nick, even if your life isn’t entirely what you pictured, I do really admire what you did. Dropping your life to take care of your sister…
Nick: It’s not exactly the big plan we came up with.
Nick: You know, we wouldn’t have worked out for a million reasons.
April: Lucia, Sarah, Oona? Push-ups, now.
[to Kari, after telling her mom she’s continuing with the competition]
April: [to Nick] Look at you. Fixing barns. Fixing hair.
[referring to the drinks Barb got the girls]
Coach Buzz: Your girls wouldn’t know a triple time step if our girls were dancing it on their sad little faces.
[after April falls on top of Nick from practicing The Star Lift]
[arriving in April’s hometown]
April: Are you happy?
[looking at an old photo of Miss Barb]
Deco: Well, if it isn’t the shrill little shoe thief.
Deco: Where are my heels?
Deco: Ugh, You Can’t Stop The Beat-ing us all over the head with that dusty newsflash.
[after June lifts Dicky for The Star Lift]
April: What if I blow it?
April: You know when you told me that you came to New York after I sent you “The Text”?
[after Welly Wong offers April part in his new show on Broadway]
April: You know, I keep telling myself, “I’m a dancer. This is what I’m supposed to do.”
April: I’m sorry, Mr. Wong, but I have to go back to the competition. If that means that you have to give my part to someone else, I understand. I mean, I don’t want you to, because I think that you need someone who honors their commitments. And you see, that’s exactly why I have to go, because I have nine little kids that I committed to. Now, I have a whole town that’s counting on me. So I have to go.
April: [to the girls] Look, you have every right to hate me, but you earned this. You deserve to be here. So please, don’t sit out on this just because you want to get back at me. When I first met you, all I saw were flaws. And then I realized, that’s exactly what makes you spectacular. All those beautiful quirks and imperfections. And I’m so sorry that I left. It just, it took me a second to realize that we’ve become family.
June: What’s wrong with you?
[as they’re getting they’re last call onto stage for the finals]
[as they’re about to walk on stage]
April: [to the girls] You better kick butt, or I’ll kick yours!
[after her opening night in the Broadway show]
[last lines; after Welly surprises April by bringing her friends from Wisconsin to the theater]
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