Sunday, June 6, 2010

Awesome(ly bad) dance scenes on film and TV

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I compiled a list of funny dance scenes from movies and TV that stood out to me after watching the scene in Date Night in which Tina Fey and Steve Carrell attempt to pose as exotic dancers. The only criteria I really used in making my selections were that the scenes were memorable and were not part of a proper "dance" film or show; these are scenes that surprise you with original dance moves when you were least expecting them.

You can look at the examples I compiled as being either 1) awesome or 2) awesomely bad. I'm not going to lie: I classify all of the included dance scenes as AWESOME. Click below to see the list (arranged in random order), and please add your favorite awesome(ly bad) dance scenes in the Comments section.


Hugh Grant in Love Actually
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The British Prime Minister (Grant), alone in his office, hears a request on the radio dedicated to him ("Jump for My Love" by The Pointer Sisters). He starts to dance in his office and then shakes his hips all the way down the stairs before he is caught in the act by one of his staff members.
Isla Fisher in Confessions of a Shopaholic
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Rebecca (Fisher) is pulled to the dance floor by her boss Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy) at an outdoor Miami restaurant. At first she is hesitant and just tries to follow his lead. Becoming more confident, she almost hits Luke several times with her fan before breaking away from his hold and making exaggerated arm movements waving the fan and aggressively starting to take over the floor. It was Fisher's idea to do this scene: "In regard to the fan dance, it's always been a comic dream of mine to attempt to seduce a man doing a dance that's actually repulsive." (source: about.com)
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Andy Samberg in Hot Rod
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After becoming upset Rod (Samberg) takes off to the woods (his "quiet place") to punch dance out all his anger in a sequence that mirrors a similar scene in Footloose, with Rod performing gymnastics sequences and flying through the air at different angles before a very prolonged fall down a hill.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in (500) Days of Summer
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After spending the night with Summer (Zooey Deschanel), who he had been crushing on and tormenting himself over for weeks, Tom (Gordon-Levitt) leaves his apartment with extra spring in his step as the movie soundtrack starts up "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates. Exuberant and full of joy, he says hi to people he passes and shakes the hands of strangers before a group joins him in full-out choreography in the park. A blue cartoon bird even stops by!
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Bill Hader, Jorma Taccone,
and Danny McBride in Hot Rod
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Rod's friends Rico, Steve, and Kevin (McBride, Hader, and Taccone) dance to "Two of Hearts" by Stacey Q in front of a convenience store while Rod (Samberg) talks to Denise (Isla Fisher) on the other side of the parking lot. When Denise's boyfriend Jonathan (Will Arnett) stops by, he has a conversation with Rod, Denise, and Kevin, and we can still see Rico and Steve dancing in the background; at one point they execute a move with their arms out as they turn around in a circle. I laugh every time.
Joaquin Phoenix in Two Lovers
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Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) leads Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow) to the edge of the dance floor where a couple guys are showing off some impressive breakdancing moves. Then Leonard begins to do some Mr. Roboto moves as he goes to the center of the dance floor. The first thought that enters your mind is, "This is going to be bad" as you know he's going to try too hard in an attempt to impress Michelle.
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Sandra Bullock in The Proposal
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Andrew's Grandma Annie (Betty White) urges Margaret (Bullock) to feel the rhythm of the drums and chant around a fire in the woods. Responding to Grandma Annie's advice to use her vowels, Margaret breaks out some freaky dance moves as she chants "Get Low" by the Ying Yang Twins.
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Jason Segel in Freaks and Geeks
Episode 18: "Discos and Dragons"

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Nick (Jason Segel), who at the beginning of the series emphasizes his hatred for disco, gets into the dance trend and enters a competition thanks to his new girlfriend (Lizzy Caplan). This episode finds other freaks and geeks intermingling as Daniel plays a game of dungeons and dragons with Sam, Neil, Bill, and Gordon. Footage is edited back and forth between Nick's performance and the Dungeons and Dragons game set to the song "The Groove Line." Awesome.
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Oscar Nuñez in The Proposal
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A running joke throughout the movie is that Ramone (Nuñez) holds every kind of job conceivable in the Alaskan town of Sitka. When Margaret (Sandra Bullock) is taken out for a bachelorette party, she gets treated to a special lapdance set to "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood courtesy of... Ramone.
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After a re-creation of a disco dance to "More Than a Woman" by Neil and Rachel that impresses the employees at paper company Wernham Hogg, David Brent (Gervais) tries to steal the spotlight for himself with a dance that, he says, fuses the moves of M.C. Hammer and Flashdance. His moves are accompanied by his creepy grunts and humming as well as clapping from his staff members, which starts enthusiastic enough but then whimpers out as they awkwardly watch his performance.Ricky Gervais in The Office
Season 2, episode 5
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the cast of My Name is Earl
Season 1, episode 8: "Joy's Wedding"
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At Darnell and Joy's wedding reception in the park, everyone dances to "Bust a Move" by Young MC; it's a fun scene where all the characters are having fun together. And, Earl (Jason Lee) does some of his breakdancing moves.
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Image and video hosting by TinyPicthe cast of The 40 Year-Old Virgin
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At the very end of the movie the cast dances to "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In" in a field. Everyone as a group is hilarious, but I recommend you focus on Paul Rudd. He really commits to the moves.
Steve Carrell in The Office
Season 2, episode 11: "Booze Cruise"
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Annoyed that the captain of the booze cruise is receiving more attention than him, boss Michael Scott (Carrell) breaks out spastic dance moves to the embarrassment of his staff and everyone on board.
the cast of The Office
Season 5, episode 25: "Cafe Disco"
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Michael uses a storage room (formerly the location of the Michael Scott Paper Company) as a place to hang out and relax, hoping to entice his employees to have lunch with him. He has an expresso machine and a stereo in the room, but no one (except Erin and Phyllis) shows much interest in joining him for an expresso or dancing. When he's not looking the Dunder Mifflin employees start a dance party, the highlight being Kelly's (Mindy Kaling) dance-off with Andy (Ed Helms) to C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)."
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Tugg Speedman's (Ben Stiller) agent Rick Peck (Matthew McConaughey) visits movie studio boss Les Grossman (Cruise) to talk about his contract. Peck receives a call from the drug lords holding Speedman hostage, and Grossman refuses to acquiesce to their demands. He then uses a remote to play "Low" by Flo Rida, and, with his assistant (Bill Hader) to his side, Grossman bounces to the music as a bizarre way to demonstrate his power to Peck. Later, as the credits roll, he unleashes his hip hop moves to "Get Back" by Ludacris. I will check this movie out from the library just to watch this ending credits dance scene, it is that hilarious and awesome. Check out the special features, which include Cruise on camera in character for the first time; writer/director Stiller reveals that it was Cruise's idea to have the character dance.Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder
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Image and video hosting by TinyPicSean Hayes in Will & Grace
Season 6, episode 23/24:
"I Do, Oh, No You Di-In't"
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Jennifer Lopez performs at the reception for Karen (Megan Mullally) and her new husband (John Cleese). Jack (Hayes) fills in for one of the back-up dancers, adding his bouncing-off-the-walls-energy to the choreography to "Waiting for Tonight."
Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicclosing scene in The Last Days of Disco
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The final scene finds Alice (Chloe Sevigny) and Josh (Matt Keeslar) riding the subway, looking into each other's eyes. Josh begins to dance a little in the subway car and stops before they both move toward the camera out of the frame. Then everyone else in the car starts to dance to "Love Train" by The Ojays in addition to people waiting on the subway platforms, and Alice and Josh dance back into the frame in the subway car as the credits roll.


Image and video hosting by TinyPicBret McKenzie in 
Flight of the Conchords
Season 1, episode 12: "The Third Conchord"
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Upset about being fired from the band, Bret performs his own Footloose-like angry dance, complete with intense chugging of an energy sports drink.
Poise editor-in-chief Richard (Andy Serkis) is stressed that people are leaving a party thrown by the magazine. Jenna (Garner), whose 13-year-old self is inside her 30-year-old body, thinks a change of music will get people to dance. She requests "Thriller" by Michael Jackson and moves toward the center of the dance floor, moving her head to the right side in a twitch-like motion, echoing the music video choreography. Everyone just looks at her but she keeps dancing and then excitedly yells for Matt (Mark Ruffalo) to come join her. Geek-tastic.Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30
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1 comment:

  1. Add Elaine from Seinfeld as she has her thumbs sticking out. I think it was at an office party:)

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