How She Move
1.5 Waffles!

Beating up on How She Move is like criticizing a 5-year old who just made a Mother’s Day card for his mommy. It might not be the most professional looking product, but you can’t doubt the good intensions.

Rutina Wesley stars as Raya – a high school girl whose dreams seem to be falling apart all around her. Raya’s family doesn’t have the money to pay her tuition to a swanky private school after her older sister becomes addicted to drugs and dies, so the young lady desperately is seeking some way to get back on track. Raya’s best hope is to win a scholarship, and gain re-admittance in the next year, so she starts to study day and night to ace the exam. However, she is being drawn back into the community around her, the same community that destroyed her sister, as a rivalry breaks out between Raya and mean girl Michelle (Tre Armstrong), and an old friend, Bishop (Dwain Murphy), wants her to get back into step dancing competition.

Can Raya get the scholarship? Will she learn something more along the way?

How She Move is an after school special complete with kids learning not to judge each other, young people using their talent to overcome bad circumstances, second chances, the big dance competition and someone getting served (which is better than someone getting shot). Director Ian Iqbal Rashid’s biggest challenge is to keep the camera steady and capture the dancing, which is the movie’s highlight, but the script doesn’t call for much more.

Writer Annmarie Morais provides a basic story with twists and turns you can predict as soon as each character walks onto the screen. You can see the love story beginning as soon as Bishop takes one look at Raya. You know Raya and Michelle are going to get stuck together somehow once they have their big dance off, which substitutes for fisticuffs. Plus, every acting performance is slightly below average, stiff and never hits the right tone.

However, How She Move has positive messages about believing in yourself, finding more than one way to achieve a goal, trusting in others, solving problems with methods other than violence, giving people a chance to do the right thing and more, all of which are messages people need to hear these days. Morais has her heart in the right place with this story and these ideals, but the execution fails.

How She Move is rated PG-13 for some drug content, suggestive material and language