Make It Happen
USA - 2008
Director: Darren Grant
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tessa Thompson, Julissa Bermudez, Riley Smith, Karen LeBlanc
Plot: The movie opens in Indiana, where Lauryn Kirk (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) says goodbye to her brother, Joel (John Reardon) before departing for Chicago to audition for a famous dance school, the fictional Chicago School of Music and Dance. Although Joel - who works as a mechanic in the family garage - is wary of Lauryn's decision to enroll, he eventually gives her his blessing. When Lauryn enters the stage, however, her dance (mostly a hip hop routine) was halted by the judge, who hostilely rejects her, saying that they need to see something more "sensual and feminine". Dejected, Lauryn goes to a diner to down her sorrows, but soon finds her car towed off.
Upon seeing her misfortunes, Dana (Tessa Thompson), a friendly waitress from the diner invites Lauryn to her apartment and out of the pouring rain. Dana subsequently offers Lauryn a place to stay, considering Lauryn could not go back home and face her brother. The next day, Dana brings Lauryn to a club called Ruby's (whose dances are rooted in burlesque), where she meets with Russ (Riley Smith), the slick-talking disc jockey, and Brenda (Karen LeBlanc), the club owner. Brenda hires Lauryn as a bookkeeper, in light of her skills with numbers. Lauryn watches as a dancer, Carmen (Julissa Bermudez) performs impressively on the stage. Lauryn and the group bond over drinks later that night. Before locking up late one night, Lauryn goes on the stage and silently and elegantly dances, while unknowingly to her, Russ watches from a distance. The next night, Brenda finds herself short of dancers. Russ asks Lauryn to dance, after having seen her graceful performance the previous night. Lauryn reluctantly agrees, and finds herself to be Ruby's new star. As Lauryn and Russ' relationship progresses, Lauryn continues performing stunningly on stage, much to Carmen's chagrin.
However, Joel catches Lauryn at the club during a dance; after a bicker, in which Lauryn realizes that Joel is losing the family garage due to stacking mortgages and bills, she decides to ditch the stage and return to Indiana to save the garage. However, soon after, Joel catches a peek of Lauryn joyfully dancing in the garage one day, and asks Lauryn to give the audition another shot. Uplifted, Lauryn returns to Chicago for a second audition. She nails it, and happily embraces Russ (who has come to encourage her). Lauryn goes back to Ruby's to apologize to Brenda, but finds a surprise congratulatory party awaiting for her. The movie concludes as the party breaks into a dance.