A man holds a violin in front of a woman in ballet shoes doing a split with her foot above their heads.


Title: High Strung
Released: 2016

Fix: Dance Battles, Violin Battles, Snooty Arts Conservatory, NYC, Underdogs, Sexy British Dude
Platforms: Hulu or Amazon Prime

Hulu Summary:

She dances in a posh conservatory, he performs on the street for cash. But their common passion guides them both.

FYA Summary:

Ruby is a good-girl dance scholarship student at the ritzy Manhattan Conservatory of the Arts; bad-boy Brit Johnnie plays violin, busking in NYC subway stations. When fate throws them together (during a subway station dance battle, natch), Ruby finds herself drawn to hot-but-angry Johnnie. Of course, his anger is really only covering up the fact that he has a Heart of Gold, and also that his visa expired a long time ago. As totally unpredictable luck would have it, the conservatory is hosting a “string and dance” competition with a cash prize and scholarships to the conservatory that would conveniently solve ALL THEIR PROBLEMS! Armed with a plucky group of not-at-all-one-dimensional urban street dancers, Ruby and Johnnie set out to take on the arts world, immigration law, snooty people with old money, and lo, the entire NYC subway system.

tl;dr: You owe it to yourself to watch this movie.

(Not-So) Familiar Faces:

Jane Seymour as Oksana

Jane Seymour is really the only person you will recognize here. Her turn as an imperious dance teacher, who is hard on Ruby ONLY BECAUSE SHE IS SO TALENTED, is certainly a sight to behold.

Keenan Kampa as Ruby

Nicholas Galitzine as Johnnie

Couch-Sharing Capability: High

As you might have surmised, this dance movie falls victim to the number-one predator of its ilk: dancers who can dance beautifully, but can’t act. Add in some stilted dialogue, at least three dance battles, a violin battle IN WHICH THE MUSICIANS ACTUALLY SWORDFIGHT WITH THEIR BOWSNO I AM NOT KIDDING, and a happily-ever-after ending that defies logic and reason…and you have an utter masterpiece the likes of which makes Dance Academy look like the finest art hand-delivered from God herself. (Don’t get me wrong. I love Dance Academy. Obviously.) I totally enjoyed it. Gather your favorite dance-loving girlfriends round and get ready for an afternoon of sheer joy.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: SHOTS!

I won’t recommend that you take a shot every time a character does something that defies logic and reason, yet it all works out anyway, because you’d be dead. Instead, take a shot during every dance scene. Wait, that might still kill you. Okay, just take a shot any time a non-ballet-dancer is looked down upon. (Please drink responsibly.)

Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Did You Miss The Part Where I Said You Owe It To Yourself To Watch This Movie?

If you love dance and classical music spiced up with a bit of hip-hop funkiness, you need to watch this. It’s got every single dance trope and cliché I can think of, and yet I found myself staying up till 3am to finish it. Fine art it is not, but the dance and music within are utterly satisfying. Watch it, and let it inspire you to go challenge someone at work to an extremely public dance battle.