Which of the two following movies would be worse to watch with a hangover? (Not a nauseous or anxiety-stricken hangover, but a wearing-a-too-small-hat-made-of-lead hangover.) My options were reduced to Michael Winterbottom's crime thriller The Killer Inside Me, reportedly including scenes of prolonged and brutal violence to rival Irreversible, and the new British teenage bubblegum extravaganza Streetdance 3D.
I feared the latter would be worse, expecting loud insipid music with colourful, swirling visuals flying toward me from the screen. Not to mention the huge rubbery 3D glasses, fitting snugly over my prescription spectacles (and my leaden headwear) and further squeezing my poor aching head. But my companion had the deciding vote, so Streetdance it was.
And in many ways Streetdance was as bad as I anticipated. The dialogue is bland at best and regularly cringe-inducing. For what it's worth, the paint-by-numbers story is: boy leaves girl, girl has to take over streetdance crew with only weeks until the streetdancing finals, girl has to teach ballet dancers (for reasons too tedious to recount) to streetdance in order to succeed. Various obstacles are placed in front of this goal, only to be skipped over, shimmied around or completely ignored. You don't need me to tell you how it ends.
Streetdancing, incidentally, seems to my untutored eyes to be a cross between club dancing, breakdancing and sychronised swimming. Only without the swimming. And this dancing is of course the main point of the film. As rubbish as all the normally-essential elements of a movie are here, it's a little churlish of me to criticise it for that, since they're hardly the point. The point is - dancing! On the street! In 3D! And if that's what you want to see, this is the place to see it.
And the effect all this had on my poor hungover brain? I was surprised to find it was all rather soothing and hypnotic. Much like watching a fruit machine that no-one's playing. It's a shame the music they are dancing to is so bland - I doubt I'd even recognise one of the tracks if I heard it again, which I hope not to - but even so, I found it all strangely charming. And I have little doubt that I left the cinema happier than I would have had I spent the previous two hours watching a man smashing ladies' heads in.