Groove

"Good"

Groove Review


According to Groove, the economics of throwing a rave: Charge $2 a head for some 200 people to inhabit an abandoned warehouse for one night. Provide free food, water, massages, and of course, music from a parade of 5 or 6 DJs. Sounds like a losing proposition to me.

In fact, the last time I went to a rave (in 1991, when the scene was already on its way out), it cost $8. Today, it's like $20. Groove's $2 rave sounds a little phony, a little dated.

While Groove was the talk of Sundance (and for an entire year the talk of San Francisco -- where it was shot and where I live), it seems hopelessly unable to live up to its hype, a la The Blair Witch Project. Counting conservatively, it's the fourth movie set in the rave scene to hit theaters in the last year. And by my account, it does the least with the throbbing rave lifestyle of all of them.

Why? Because Groove, while ostensibly about "one night in the San Francisco rave scene" is really about one night in the lives of a bunch of Bay Area twentysomethings. Mostly, they're Berkeley twentysomethings, best known for their ability to whine about just about anything.

Berkeley twentysomethings like to talk a lot, and in Groove, that's what they do. One minute they get out on the dance floor, then they retire to a back room or the basement to chit-chat, then a new DJ comes out, and the cycle repeats. Through this conceit, we are introduced to people like Leyla (Lola Glaudini), a New York transplant looking to hook up with the scene in SF, and David (Hamish Linklater), a Midwestern rave newcomer. Then there's David's brother Colin (Denny Kirkwood) and his girlfriend Harmony (Mackenzie Firgens), to whom Colin intends to propose... only later we find him making out with some guy. Later, the moral of the entire tale is spat out by Rachel True's character near the end: "Eat dinner before you take drugs." Huh? This story is right out of 90210. No, it's worse than 90210.

While Groove - the story is pretty limp, Groove - the slice of life examining today's counterculture is far better realized. Watching the DJs (all real-life rave disc jockeys) interact with the (teensy) crowd is probably the most fun there is to have in the movie. Considering its small budget, the set design and production values are uniformly high. Groove looks more like Go than any indie flick. That's impressive.

Again, it's the pedestal that the crowd of Groove (and its filmmakers) put DJs upon that makes the film so intriguing. Who knew that people with names like Polywog and Digweed (a really famous DJ) would become recognizable on sight to rave aficionados, as famous as any cut-rate film critic? It's enough to make you want to learn how to spin.

Party ball.



Groove

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 19th October 2000

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Fresh: 28 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Chris Ferreira as Bill, Elizabeth Sung as Maggie, as Ernie, as Harmony, as Cliff, Bradley K. Ross as Aaron, as Colin, Jeff Witzke as Neil, as Beth

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.