Being that it was advertised as the new age Step Up and the lead is none other than Sabrina Carpenter, I had high hopes for Work It. Unfortunately, that led to disappointment when I learned what the film was really about. The Netflix Original, directed by Laura Terruso and written by Alison Peck, is a story about a seventeen-year-old girl who starts a dance squad as a last-minute attempt to get into a top college.
First off, let’s talk about privilege. In films like Step Up and Bring it On we root for the underdogs, (aka the characters who have had to overcome some obstacles in order to catch up to their privileged peers), and that is not the case in Work It. The fact that Quinn started her dance crew merely as a ploy to get into Duke University, only made me not want to root for her.
Not only did it feel as if she was attempting to undermine her peers who had been working hard at their extracurriculars for years, but it also gave the message that going to a top college is all that matters and we should be willing to do anything to achieve it. In reality without starting her dance crew, Quinn would have still gone very far in life and even became a doctor like she wanted.
Another disappointing element of the film was the dancing. For a film made in Hollywood about dance, you would expect some out of this world talent on the screen. This was not the case. There was one thing the movie made clear — Sabrina Carpenter should stick to singing.
Lastly, the romance between Quinn and her love interest Jake (Jordan Fisher) was seriously lacking steam. The arc was clearly a secondary thought when it came to the film’s direction and it showed. The film would have undoubtedly been more successful had their relationship development been stronger.
There is a reason the film only made it to streaming and was not set for theaters. Work It is certainly not a feature you should rush to see, but nonetheless can be an entertaining watch for a quiet afternoon alone.
Work It is available to stream on Netflix.
By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake