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Bootmen (R)
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Official Site

Director: Dein Perry

Producer: Hilary Linstead

Written by: Steve Worland, Hilary Linstead, Dein Perry

Cast: Adam Garcia, Sam Worthington, Sophie Lee, William Zappa, Matt Lee, Chris Horsey, Lee McDonald, Drew Kaluski, Jonno Zissler, Richard Carter, Anthony Hages, Justine Clarke, Susie Porter

Rating: out of 5

BOOTMEN is a heartwarming, inspiring drama in the spirit of THE FULL MONTY-with an Aussie twist. The film is guaranteed to entertain while shattering all preconceptions that men who dance are sissies.

Sean Okden, 20, and brother Mitchell, 22, are disenchanted by their unfulfilling jobs as Newcastle steelworkers. Sean is determined to get out of town at any price. His chance comes when he auditions for and gets the part in a Sydney tap show. Sean jumps at the opportunity to leave behind the life of a steelworker to pursue his childhood passion. Mitchell auditions for the show as well, but is clearly more of a pragmatist than a dreamer. He opts to stay in Newcastle and continue his work at the steel mill in order to save up for his dream of buying a rig. Of course, what tale would be complete without a little romance? Enter Linda, an attractive, spirited beauty salon owner. She quickly takes a liking to the younger brother, but is cautious when a friend reveals his nickname, "doorknob Sean"-everyone gets a turn. The film picks up the pace after Sean returns from Sydney and finds things aren't quite as he left them. Bother Mitchell is in trouble, the romance with Linda is amiss, and the mill has laid off all its workers. Turning misfortune into opportunity, Sean focuses his energy on making something of himself by starting his own tap group-Bootmen.

I worried at first that this was going to be yet another tale of sibling rivalry-the ever successful Sean ventures out while Mitchell willingly stands in the shadow of his little brother. However, I quickly realized that BOOTMEN had much more to offer. The universal themes of love, acceptance, friendship, and family form a compelling story for audiences male and female, young and old to enjoy.

Personally, I appreciate that Perry manages to create a feel-good movie without being cheesy. (In my opinion, there's nothing worse than getting into a film and then, halfway through, it turns into a big cheese-fest.) The dialogue is witty and the characters are real. After watching BOOTMEN, audiences will likely leave the theater pondering their own dreams and envisioning ways for those dreams to become reality.

-K. Theis

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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