Title: Cuban Fury
Director: James Griffiths
Starring: Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd, Olivia Colman
Dancing is the best therapy for melancholia, and director James Griffiths wisely picked the caliente-latino moves to help the main character face his childhood fears.
Former teen salsa champion Bruce Garrett (Nick Frost) is now a sad-sack engineer. But his passion for dancing – repressed as a child because of a bullying incident – is reignited by his crush on his bewitching new boss Julia (Rashida Jones) and the only way he can win her over is by mastering the art of dance.
This British romantic comedy sure has promise, with the brilliant performances of the charming daughter of Quincy Jones and former model Peggy Lipton, Rashida Jones, and all the well-established UK tragicomic actors, Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd and Olivia Colman. However the plot in general is fairly unimaginative and predictable. Tender is the choice of giving the role of Bruce to the overweight Frost, who tackles the dance-floor with dignity. But he doesn’t possess the physique du rôle to be the convincing as the enflaming salsa dancer, despite he has the reiterated “Corazon,” (i.e. passionate heart required to be a bailarino cubano). Sadly enough the zero-to-hero Bruce would have been more appropriate handling a salsa for pasta rather than all those pirouettes. This is probably due to the television style direction (James Griffiths comes from the small screen) and the screenplay (written by Jon Brown), who opts for poorly wisecracking jokes.
Nonetheless, Frost and the entire cast have a rather engaging screen presence and manage to save the enticing story of an ugly duckling, who doesn’t need to turn into a swan to deal with the skeletons in his closet, but only the power of love.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi