It is never a good sign when you get a dvd and there is a warning at the beginning, stating that the movie has been modified to fit your screen. That means that the movie was filmed in wide screen, but the studio didn't even think that anyone would care if it was cropped for standard television. Not a good sign! And for a supposed dance heavy film, a wide screen edition is kinda essential. I guess not in the case of Lambada.
In a half-ass attempt to target the Latino community and ride the wave of Dirty Dancing, the filmmakers tossed together salsa with a sprinkle of D&D (dirty dancing, not dungeon and dragons) and out came Lambada. Now, I don't know which came first, Lambada the movie or Lambada the almost dance craze, but one thing is for certain,this film is dishonest.
For one, the two leads are white. Their skin and hair has been darken for the poster and the dancing is neither Dirty or even Dancing. So their is a girl, played by Melora Hardin and she discovers a hot and saucy club in the wrong part of town. Merlora has some experience with doing some sex dancing, because she played the low rent version of Baby in the TV show Dirty Dancing. A treasure among men. That Dirty Dancing show haunts me! Anyway, she has a fight with her cute BF and is gonna teach him a lesson.
Once in the club, she learns of the forbidden dance and that her math teacher is a total hottie and a master at Lambading (?). She instantly goes into fatal attraction mode and makes his life a living hell. She toys with him in front of the whole student body at school and sneaks into his car, where he basically has to push her out. A real charmer. But, not lucky for us, she has a change of heart when it is revealed that her math teacher is holding nightly classes deep within the club, so a bunch of very clean street kids can get their GED! Folks, these are things that they don't show in the trailer, cuz if you say algebra, most audiences go running. Algebra is never sexy.
Looking a little closer, the movie becomes even more confusing on many levels. One of the main points of disarray is the fact that all the high school students look like they are in their mid-30's. Not 90210 high school students, but Grease old. I know that teens in the 80's look older than teens nowadays, but this is your parents age old. I seriously thought everyone was in college for the first 30 minutes of the movie. Next, is J. Eddie Peck. He is most famous for his role on DALLAS where he stalked and almost beat April Stevens to death. That is an instant HATE in my book. He is tall, darkish, and handsome in a conventional sense. His character is also half-adopted Mexican (his words not mine) and he can't dance worth SHIT!
The film looks like it was choreographed by Kenny Bortega, because it is so flat and life-less. Half adopted Mexican picks up the Girl and tosses her around in the air like a rag doll and performs frottage on her backside. That ain't dancing. Most of the dance sequences involve a lot of up the skirt shots of girls wearing neon thongs over pantyhose. A good look I admit, but it's a little over done. I've seen better dancing at The Cuff. Actually, I seen better dancing at The Crescent. There is a weird sexy fantasy sequence between Girl and Teacher. it is very Liza with a don't. And even if you can get past the less than stellar dancing, the blinding glare of TWO huge Pepsi machines is all you can look at. Like a moth to a flame.
We also get an amazing dance sequence set in the high school. The chapter selection calls it COMPUTER DANCE PARTY and it is exactly that. You have to see it yourself. It really is a treat for sitting through Lambada. Sadly, it happens halfway through the film.
You would think the movie would erupt into a frenzied all dancing, all lambading sexy finale or at least a dance off, because EVERYONE loves a dance off. But Lambada is never predictable. The big finale is a quiz at school between the almost GED'ERS and the school bullies. And all the questions are ALGEBRA questions! Come on! Will the GED'ERS win or will they lose, but learn a very valuable lesson? I ain't telling. One this is for sure, this is the nerdiest dance movie ever made!
Lambada wants to go there with all of its forbidden passions, but chickens out and goes all Stand and Deliver on our asses. Luckily for us, LAMBADA has a shining star that steals the movie. Girl has a best friend who is a lovable 40 year old goof,who passes notes in class and hangs onto her every word. AND she talks through a see through phone! SCORE!
So, the moral of LAMBADA is not to dance your cares away and look good while doing it, but to stay in school. How common.