Saving the Community Center One Movie at a Time
I am a sucker for any movie which uses the Save the Community Center trope*. Particularly, if it involves putting on a show, getting the gang back together or the redemption of some previously fiendish scoundrel. I will throw down on a bunch of impassioned folks singing, dancing, Shakespearing themselves in front of the bulldozers – real or metaphorical – of oppression.
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo
- In the much maligned Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo developers threaten to destroy the community in favor of some kind of condo situation. As both a condo dweller and a community center enthusiast I found my loyalties tested, though ultimately, much like the film, I came down on the side of what’s right. And contrary to what MST3K fans seem to believe, the use of “Electric Boogaloo” as a movie suffix has been in existence long before they appropriated it. We’re talking hours after the release of the film. And I remember a local Air Forces Radio DJ calling First Blood: Part II – “First Blood: Part II: Electric Boogaloo” during a screening at The Bad Children’s Theater and he got NO LOVE. Too soon, I suppose. The only thing I remember seeing this in the theater on the weekend it screened at the Bad Children’s Theater was how much I wanted to pair hot pink and yellow together, preferably in some kind of heat seeking stretch material.
- The forgotten Richard Pryor gem Bustin’ Loose doesn’t so much save the community center but the community itself. Namely, some kids of varying levels of ability, emotional stability and adoption potential and their freeze dried social worker played by Cicily Tyson. The lulz are constant and there are scenes hot off the “I can’t even believe this shit” presses that totally make me howl merely by thinking about them. There are all kinds of wonderful moments of poignancy, cheesiness and if Robert Flack’s Children’s Song doesn’t break your heart or make you stand up and cheer while crying happy tears, well then you’re just an awful person. Trust me, I’ve done the legwork.
What are your favorites of this “genre”?
*The sole caveat being the community ITSELF must be doing the saving.