Damsels in Distress – September 14

Watch for the Sambola – a new dance craze to seize the nation!! Well maybe not. It is one of the very funny scenes in this whimsical film about four young women attending Seven Oaks College – a small liberal arts college clearly based in the northeastern US. The new film from Whit Stillman, who last made a movie 13 years ago (Last Days of Disco), is a small cinematic gem. With a very unusual script and totally offbeat plot line it follows the four protagonists through a school term led by Greta Gerwig as Violet the alpha girl. The four work through how to dress, who to date, why dumb guys are best (also known as doufi) and the ups and downs of relationships. Some very funny sequences including a guy named Thor who has never learned his colours (you have to see this to believe it) and some great dance scenes. The movie ends with homage to Fred Astaire and the introduction to the Sambola dance craze, a mix of the Charleston, Tango, Waltz and Tap. Just classic. This is definitely not The Dead Poet’s Society for girls but a light and intelligent movie to savour over popcorn sometime this winter.

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