I fell in love with Center Stage the first time I saw it. The dancing! The music! The Charlie! So I saw it fourteen hundred more times. In a row. To this day, nothing gets me as excited as that scene in Cooper’s “experimental” dance where Jody suddenly has a red leotard on and all the dancers just pop up behind her. Just Dance, am I right or am I right or am I now tempted to stop what I’m doing and spend the rest of the day blasting that soundtrack? I mean, I won’t. But only because we need to discuss Jody and Cooper’s relationship.
You know when you watch a movie when you’re younger and you sympathize with someone — then you watch it years later and you’re like “oh hell no, you crazy!” That’s what I went through when I recently watched this movie. So let’s run through it real fast and figure out if 7th grade Jenni is right about Cooper being a dick to Jody or 18th grade Jenni is right about Jody being an insane lady to Cooper.
The movie starts with Jody auditioning for the American Ballet Academy. Sandy Cohen lets her into the school even though her feet are made of wooden blocks. “There’s something about her,” his eyebrows whispered into the camera, “she and those blocks she shoves into ballet slippers might just make it. She instantly becomes friends with other first years Hufflepuffs, like Zoe Saldana and Horribly Timed Broke Leg. And then they all instantly become enemies with Maureen – who I think is just a Lifetime movie character copy and pasted into the film. You see Maureen’s not only suffering from an eating disorder, but she also has a mother who’s living vicariously through her. Luckily for her, she has sex with Paul Rudd’s lookalike and that finally gives the strength to stand up to her mother. Snaps for Maureen!