Among other things, the execrable C Me Dance lays claim to being the first movie to draw its title from a vanity license plate—and it has to cheat to do that, since when we see the plate in question it reads “C Me Danc.” You could call that creative license, I suppose, though the only sign of creativity in this latest outburst of “faith-based” filmmaking is that writer/producer/director/star Greg Robbins managed to fleece anyone into helping finance the enterprise. That must have taken a good deal of creativity.
Even by the none-too-high standards of this kind of movie, C Me Dance is notable for its muddled plot, its abominable acting, its atrocious dialogue, its less-than-rudimentary-filmmaking technique, its threadbare production values and its smug self-righteousness. This witless mess makes Facing the Giants (2006) look like Oscar material. These statements will doubtless bring forth the ire of folks who feel it is their sacred duty to praise anything of a Christian nature regardless of its actual merit, simply because it has “a good message.” Of course, one person’s “good message” is another person’s sanctimonious propaganda.
The story centers on Sheri (Christina DeMarco), a Pittsburgh high-school girl with improbable eyebrows and a passion for dance. But quicker than you can say pas de deux, it turns out that this Pennsylvanian Pavlova has movie leukemia. (Movie leukemia is the kind where you’re only diagnosed in the final stages, have but weeks to live, and look fabulous the entire time.) This leads Dad Vince (Greg Robbins himself) to want to pray—in between romancing Sheri’s doctor, Beth (Laura Romeo). Sheri, on the other hand, just wants to withdraw from everyone—that is until she becomes convinced that God wants her to bring her friend Ally (Samantha Sham) to Jesus. Turns out that this is easier done than said because her in-extremis status allows her to merely touch a person and cause them to see a flash of Jesus’ hand being nailed to the cross—et voila, instant conversion. (That Jesus’ hand is played by the same guy who is Satan’s stunt double surely qualifies as blasphemy of some sort.)
Soon Sheri appears to be on the road to setting the whole world to rights—at least to the specific dictates of Robbins’ take on the Good Book. Everyone who comes into Sheri’s sphere is converted: pornographers stop pornographying, people line up at church doors, TV executives give her free air time, and Hollywood studios shelve potential blockbusters where they will “never be seen” because they might damage “family values.” Not surprisingly, this doesn’t sit well with Satan (co-producer and former Arnold Schwarzenegger stunt double Peter Kent), who starts hanging around in a Hot Topic trench coat to disconcert Sheri (who appears to have been traumatized by The Matrix (1999)).
This is the movie’s purported hook, but the Devil in this film wouldn’t frighten an impressionable 4-year-old. He mostly stands around looking like a pervert on the periphery of a playground. Even on those occasions when he remembers to put in his “scary” contact lenses, he’s hardly persuasively menacing, especially since all you appear to have to do is tell him to go away and he will. If you’re expecting some battle between good and evil, look elsewhere. It’s easy to understand why some people, seeing the trailer, think the whole thing was a put-on.
It is simply not possible to convey the sheer ineptitude of C Me Dance. Ironically, the look of the film often verges on porn (co-critic Justin Souther even remarked at one point, “This is just a pizza-delivery guy shy of a porno”), which I doubt was the intent. There’s not a single person in it who can act, and this is aggravated by Robbins casting himself in a major role. Robbins (complete with matted-animal-pelt Nicolas Cage hair) not only can’t act, but is astonishingly smarmy—something exacerbated by his apparent belief that he’s really cool, an idea of which he needs to be disabused with all possible haste. Rated PG for thematic material, some violence and mild language.