As I settled in to watch “B-Girl,” a film described on the back of its DVD box as originating “from the dancers of ‘Fame,’ ‘How She Move,’ ‘Step Up,’ ‘Step Up 2,’ & ‘Step Up 3D,'” I was reminded of a nine-word phrase of total disclosure which Roger Ebert once used to open a review: “I am not the person to review this movie.” Granted, he was speaking of “Scooby Doo” at the time, but his lack of familiarity with the mythos of that famed mystery-solving mutt have nothing on my deficiency of dance-movie knowledge. Still, I grew up in the ’80s, when breakdancing was in its original heyday, so I figured, okay, the least I can do is give this movie a chance. Sadly, “B-Girl” can’t hold a candle to “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.” (Really, though, how many films can?)
“B-Girl” offers an all-too-familiar underdog story: Angel (Jules Urich, “You Got Served,” “Step Up 2”) dances her ass off while cruising the streets of NYC, but when a tragedy occurs in Angel’s life and results in both a shoulder injury and a decision by her mother to move to the other side of the country, she realizes that her only solace in California will come from getting back into shape and onto the dance floor again. The film is an expanded version of a short film bearing the same title, which was released in 2004 and also starred Urich, but that was five years ago; even in a world where we’ve been accepting twentysomethings playing teenagers since the original “Beverly Hills 90210,” no one in their right mind is going to look at Urich and say, “Okay, I’ll buy that she’s young enough to still be under her mother’s thumb.” It must also be said that neither the dialogue nor the acting is all that. This, of course, only leaves the dancing as a reason to see “B-Girl.” Is it enough? Well, this is where I’m going to more or less fall back on the aforementioned Ebert-ism, but for what it’s worth, I was impressed. For you B-Girls and B-Boys amongst our readership, though, you’ll probably have to see it for yourself.