In Greg Harrison's ironically titled GROOVE, the action is anything but
groovy. Following a group of twentysomethings as they take drugs and
dance at a San Francisco rave (underground dance), the movie is
remarkably similar to the recently released comedy HUMAN TRAFFIC about
the drug scene in Cardiff, Wales. The best way to summarize GROOVE is
that it is HUMAN TRAFFIC, denuded of all of that film's energy.
An emotional zero, GROOVE could be considered a strong anti-drug movie.
After all, if drugs are this boring, why would anyone buy them.
Populated by actors who appear to have spent days in hot tubs before the
shooting, they are so laid back that it is surprising that they can
remember any of their lines, of which their aren't many. "You can relax
-- it's just a party," Leyla (Lola Glaudini) tells a pseudo-nervous
David (Hamish Linklater). David needn't worry since everyone is so
relaxed that a massive sleeping sickness appears about to strike at
As the story starts, a group of kids dressed in rain slickers and
carrying flashlights are casing a large warehouse. The movie would have
us believe that they are planning a big heist, except -- hello! -- the
title of this movie is GROOVE, remember. Well, surprise, surprise, they
are inspecting the empty facility to see if it is suitable for crashing
that night for their secret party. Being big and vacant, it fills the
bill, so the word goes out to all of the Palms, beepers and computers on
the party list that the rave is on.
About the only joke in this lifeless movie is the password phrase used
to purchase drugs. You say, "I'd like to buy a vowel."
Besides the dance floor, the rave also features a room with professional
masseurs to relieve stress and another for group hugs. About the only
New Age item missing is a room for Tarot card readings.
With unreal characters that utter meaningless dialog, the movie drifts
along on a drug-induced cloud of blissful shallowness. This typical
interchange from the movie best summarizes the script's depth: "So?"
asks Leyla. "So? replies David. Or was it the other way around? It
doesn't matter. Nor does anything else in GROOVE.
GROOVE runs 1:26. It is rated R for drug use, language and brief
sexuality and would be acceptable for college students, although I would
not suggest that anyone waste their time on this piece of drivel.
Copyright © 2000 Steve Rhodes