Groove (2000)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Ensemble Film, Musical Drama  |   Release Date - Jun 9, 2000 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Michael Hastings

Writer/director/editor Greg Harrison's debut feature gamely strives to recreate the wee-hours euphoria of a scrappy Bay Area rave -- replete with interlocking tales of casual sex, drug use, and indecipherable dance moves -- for the uninitiated masses. Ultimately, however, Harrison's corny dialogue and pat situations render the film as quaint and inconsequential as the youth offerings of the 1950s (Rock Around the Clock, Rock, Rock, Rock) or late-'60s "trip" exploitation flicks (Psych-Out). As with those efforts, Groove only really takes off when the music's playing, and in this case, the film's premiere turntablist, John Digweed, has but a brief sliver of time to strut his stuff. Even then, Digweed plays second fiddle to the dewy-eyed dance-floor romance between old-hat scenester Leyla (Lola Glaudini) and neophyte drug user David (a charisma-free Hamish Linklater). To be fair, the film is handsomely shot and edited, and Harrison has an eye for nuance (witness the opening credit sequence), but the endeavor falls flat whenever his characters deign to open their mouths -- whether to speak or otherwise engage themselves.