Strictly Ballroom ★★★★★

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I am watching the movie as I type this but I'm mainly here to talk about how incredible the stage version I saw today was, if you'll let me, 'cos I'm still buzzing. I was never a fan of musicals based on movies, particularly when, like this one, it's practically half jukebox musical too, using songs from the soundtrack. If you'd told me a few years ago how much I'd feel seeing Scott and Fran actually sing "Time After Time" in front of the Coca-Cola sign (that iconic image they showed in the ad for the show I saw over Christmas that absolutely made me want to see it, 'cos it showed they actually gave a damn about the movie at all), I'd've laughed in your face, but it was beautiful. Some of the original songs were a little iffy as imagined but others had glimmers of brilliance that really added layers to the existing material ("Scott is the opposite of competition," "It was a wonderful torture to be kissed wide awake, and when I'm done hurting, yeh, I'll be ok…") I wrote on Twitter (I wrote most of this on Twitter) that it had more fan service in it than both new Star Warses combined, like, it wasn't just the Coca-Cola sign, they had Kylie and Luke ("THAT was unexpected!" "It's the inconceivable sight of Scott dancing with Fran!" Yes Kylie even said those lines), they had the paper lanterns at Fran's house, even the little fire burning off to the side - and there was no reason at all for them to do all that because it seemed like half the audience knew nothing of the movie and were there under some false assumption it had something to do with the BBC show, which made the whole thing feel if anything more subversive than the original movie. It had the exact pace of those Red Curtain Baz Luhrmann movies, like it's the most anything has felt like him since Luhrmann since Moulin Rouge (I love Australia and Gatsby and The Get Down but I miss the Red Curtain stuff). It was just perfect. And I hope in some way this slight deviation of not exactly reviewing the movie has in some way told you how I feel about the movie anyway, 'cos it's perfect too.