Mad About Mambo
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Product Description

Before she became America's sweetheart in Felicity, Keri Russell adopted an Irish brogue and starred as a willowy, wealthy lass with a passion for dancing in this coming-of-age romantic comedy. She's the object of affection for working-class William Ash, a football-loving lad who signs up for classes, hoping to acquire a little of the Latin flair of a Brazilian soccer superstar with moves like Fred Astaire. "We don't run with the ball, we dance," and so does Ash when he falls for snooty class star Russell. Imagine an adolescent mix of Strictly Ballroom and Shall We Dance dropped into 1980s Belfast amid the Troubles, complete with "the big dance contest," romantic complications, and a splashy happy ending.

The charismatic Russell is a fine dancer and shows moxie between icy stares and swoony looks. Unfortunately Ash is never more than a generic, spunky street kid with a heart of gold. Writer-director John Forte injects the working-class edge of British comedies with his off-handed inclusion of political tensions and prickly classist remarks. Nothing too surprising ever complicates the romance as the gritty world melts into an unlikely fairy tale in a silly but rousing climax. The film's not really credible, but Russell's charms and the sheer energy and color of the dancing give it the innocence of an old-fashioned musical amid the tense realities of real life. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews:

  • if only the actors could actually dance
    I like ballroom dancing, and that's what I'm commenting on mostly. The plot is pretty typical teen romance -- boy gets girl. Not too bad, not too good.

    Unfortunately, neither "Lucy" nor "Danny" could actually perform what they were supposedly dancing. "Lucy" at least could do a few spins and looked like she had taken some dance lessons. "Danny" looked pretty bad as a Latin dancer. In the beginning of the movie I thought he was doing it on purpose. But his dance skill didn't improve even in the finale. That's why the dance sequence was edited into mostly upper body and head shots, even though the action of Latin dancing is below the chest level.

    Incidentally, the dancing feathered in the movie were samba and rumba. It would be better called Mad About Samba or Mad About Latin Dancing....more info

  • Fun and moving!
    Okay, so maybe you wouldn't watch the movie for the dancing alone -- though that part of it is fun. But the story is so touching. Check out how noble and selfless Danny's love is: how fearlessly he pursues uptown girl Lucy, but without allowing himself to be treated like a doormat. His character alone is worth watching the movie 100 times for...but the dancing and fun Latin beats add a lot as well....more info
  • If you like soccer....
    I'd say this is more of a movie for teens and soccer fans. The plot isnt terrible but what made me like it is the soccer action. "Danny" is definatly a good player and his skills are impressive. So if you like soccer and maybe wanna pick up a few new moves, watch the movie....more info
  • A "WOW" Movie
    I just finished seeing "Mad About Mambo" on television this morning - this movie was delightful, funny, and overall, an excellent show. I especially enjoyed the scenes where Keri Russell and William Ash were dancing - Keri was elegant and graceful, and William wasn't too shabby either. Overall, this movie was one of the best "Strictly Ballroom" -esque movies that I have ever seen....more info
  • a grate dance movie
    It was funny and it had a spin on it. I loved it, I thought it was a grate dance movie. I say this is a must see weather you are a dancer lover or even a dancer hatter you still will enjoy this movie....more info
  • Great movie and music!
    I love to watch this movie over and over again. It has great music. I was very sad to find there is no soundtrack to this movie but I have found a couple of the artists names that have songs on this movie if anyone is wondering. One of the songs "One Night" is from The Corrs and another song that is played at the end of the movie is called "Digge Dime" is from Burlap to Cashmere. You can find those songs on CD's here on Amazon. Check them out! Otherwise enjoy watching the movie over and over again like do. Wish they would release this on DVD at some point....more info
  • "Now THAT girl would like great in chiffon!"
    "Mad About Mambo" is a slight but fun film starring Keri Russell and William Ash as Lucy and Danny, two mismatched dance partners in modern day Belfast. Russell is a spoiled princess, Ash is a working class football (or soccer, depending on what side of the pond you're on) player, and together they overcome many obstacles, some of which pretty silly, before finally making their dreams come true.

    Russell displays a surprising talent for dancing (and accents), holding herself like a dancer and managing the steps with ease. Ash is not as good; but then, he's not supposed to be. The supporting cast is great, with the standout being Danny's fashion-obsessed best friend. The dance sequences are decent but not stellar, with the real reason to see the film being the sweet portrait of Irish life.

    For dance-film lovers, I would say this film is well-below "Strictly Ballroom" but well-above "Save the Last Dance". You may also enjoy it if you like romantic comedies or films about Ireland. Enjoy!

    Grade: B/B-...more info

  • there's no Sound track of this movie??
    this is quite amazing movie. really COOL!! not only actors but also the music in this movie!! but i never can find the sound track of this movie! i really want to know all of the music in this movie "Mad about Mambo"!!...more info
  • A Guilty Pleasure
    When I first saw this movie I thought it was pretty silly. But I have to admit I looked forward to watching it again. Whenever I see it the movie gets better every time. The story's really cute- an Irish soccer player falls for a dancer (Keri Russell) whom he then tries to win over. Of course, the ending's very obvious but when you're in the mood for a romatic comedy who cares?...more info
  • The review
    As i played boy 1 in the film "marc mc cann" I know a bit about the flick and it seems very good go see it...more info
  • Soccer, Samba & Irish Eyes Smiling
    In this movie, you'll see the emergence of a movie star. Make note of where you heard it first.

    Her name is Keri Russell and she's the 24 year old title character of the TV melodrama, "Felicity". Up from the Mickey Mouse Club, through the soaps, she is the shining virtue of that pretty decent young college angst series, another feather in the cap of the ubiquitous writer-producer David Kelly.

    If Kelly has nothing else (and he has much else--including being married to Michelle Pfeiffer) it's recognizing outstanding talent and exploiting all its possibilities, which he's still in the process of doing on TV and here, in a low-budget Irish love story which he produced.

    Having said all that, here comes the bad news. The story has little to offer in terms of freshness. It's poor boy meets rich girl set in an Irish town where soccer is king. He, Danny Mitchell, (William Ash), though his build and exploits on the field somewhat belie it, is the nominal leader of his team, striving to get with the bigger, more important, all union team. When his idol, a Brazilian ace soccer player is recruited to the union team and is credited with that phenomenal "rhythm" that is part of Brazilian genetics, Danny, our hero, sets off to learn samba in the local dance studio. That's when he first sets eyes on the lustrous Lucy McLoughlin (Keri Russell), practicing for the big dance competition.

    A natural pairing? Ah, but there's a catch. She has a boyfriend, a supposedly great dancer and a basically unfriendly fellow soccer player. Well, enough of the storyline. You probably see where and how it's heading since you've seen this story many times before. Soccer and samba are the only unique elements and they aren't enough to rise above the formulaic, low-budget nature of it all.

    There's lots of dance footage and, while a person who is a fan of Russell's might want to see what she can do "on the boards", the over-editing is another distraction. What I saw is that in her stretches and movements she has an exceedingly graceful and poetic line. But her routines are not sustained long enough to judge her overall expertise. This might have been done to mask her (or his) limitations, but I think I saw enough to be impressed with her movements and footwork. It is, perhaps not on a professional level, but her exquisiteness carries the day.

    Also impressive is her Irish brogue which had moments of such accurate accenting and diction as to belie her birth in Fountain Valley, California. Born Keri Lynn Russell, one might think she had the accent in her ear from childhood. But, let's see if she can command a different country's idiom in another film that calls for it -- before we make too much of it.

    It seems as though there's one English/Irish film brought to domestic shores and theatres every year by one distributor or another. And, perhaps because of canny choices, it becomes a sizable hit, starting with the extraordinary success of "The Full Monty" (1997), followed by a weaker "Waking Ned Devine" (1998). Well, "Mad About Mambo" looks like this year's British import -- though not necessarily this year's hit. Whatever... as a vehicle for Russell's incipient film career, it's got my vote.

    Worthy of mention is Brian Cox, playing Sidney McLoughlin, rich father of Lucy and local merchant, in a funny, if one dimensional role. This movie veteran is anything but one dimensional however -- a recent role being Herman Goering in the mini series, "Nuremberg". He's got a list of credits to match the best of them....more info

  • Warning: No Mambo
    Cute romantic comedy - watch it for the romance, for the soccer, for the actors, but don't watch it for the dancing. You ballroom people will notice right away that there is no mambo in the movie, mostly samba and a bit of rumba. That said, you don't see much of the dancing: the cameras focus mostly on the faces and leave you wondering about the footwork. Also, very limited choreography - same steps over and over throughout the film.

    Nevertheless, it's a fun movie overall, and the acting is very good....more info