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movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Groove

Starring: Lola Glaudini, Hamish Linklater
Director: Greg Harrison
Rated: R
RunTime: 86 Minutes
Release Date: June 2000
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music

*Also starring: Denny Kirkwood, Mackenzie Firgens, Steve Van Wormer, Lew Baldwin, Rachel True, John Digweed, Wade Randolph Hampton, Forest Green

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewvideo review
2.  Steve Rhodes read the review movie review
3.  Harvey Karten read the review ---

Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

A favorite of the Sundance Film Festival, first-time writer/director Greg Harrison's "Groove" explores San Francisco's underground rave scene. As I understand it, the difference between a dance club and a rave is that raves are parties that spring up almost spontaneously in different locations. Someone puts out the word on the Internet, via e-mail, and it spreads. Others get a voice mail message and pass it along. Participants gather, illegally, at the designated place at the appointed time, pay an entrance fee, and the celebrated DJs take turns, working in shifts to provide the music. This film supposedly chronicles in pseudo-documentary tone one night at a rave. It begins on Friday with an e-mail, announcing tomorrow's event. By Saturday night, a crowd of 200 has assembled at an abandoned Bay Area warehouse, many of whom are, want to be and/or will be high on the drug Ecstasy. There's the naive, aspiring writer David (Hamish Linklater) from the Midwest who meets Leyla (Lola Glaudini), a worldly New Yorker who advises him to take Ecstasy with lots of water to avoid dehydration. And David's brother Colin (Denny Kirkwood) who surprises his girlfriend (MacKenzie Firgens) on her birthday with something she didn't expect. Real-life DJs with names like Digweed and Dimitri vary the pace and mood by changing the tempo and tone of the music. Humor is injected by the efforts of the promoter (Steve Van Wormer) to divert the suspicions of a cop (Nick Offerman). The writing is sketchy, relying on the art of improvisation which these unskilled actors, and others, have yet to master. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Groove" is a throbbing, feeble 4. I suspect there's less than meets the eye in this manic, all-night, psychedelic celebration.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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