It’s not working for me

Netflix’s new movie is just another cliché high school film

Work It is just like any other Netflix original movie. Once released, it was somehow the top-watched film in its debut weekend, before falling to fifth place in its second weekend.

Photo courtesy of

Work It is just like any other Netflix original movie. Once released, it was somehow the top-watched film in its debut weekend, before falling to fifth place in its second weekend.

Paige Fortney, Staff Reporter

Among new movie releases of the year, Netflix’s new original, Work It, is definitely not a top pick for me. Work It was released on August 7, with many familiar cast members. With the appearances of Liza Koshy, Sabrina Carpenter and Jordan Fisher, I had high hopes set in place for a very comical, amusing film, but, in all honesty, it was far from that. 

At just the start of the film I could already tell that the acting was going to be something to see. I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s something about all of these teen romance movies that just automatically makes the acting so much worse than it should be. 

The story plotline follows the main character Quinn (Carpenter) on her journey of attempting to make it into her dream college, Duke University. After her father’s passing, Quinn feels as though she needs to follow in his footsteps and attend the same university as him, as if to make herself feel closer to him. Quinn makes an utterly foolish mistake of lying to the admissions counselor of Duke by saying she’s on the elite dance team at her high school, “The Thunderbird’s”.To make matters worse, she goes on to add that she will be competing at the “Work It” competition (a prestigious dance competition) once she realizes her interview is going in the wrong direction. Quinn, being the awkward, geeky character that she is, begs her best friend and member of “The Thunderbird’s” Jasmine (Koshy) to help train her for the dance team auditions. After failing to make the team, Quinn and Jasmine take matters into their own hands and form their own dance team called “TBDs” (To Be Determineds). 

Although Quinn is the main character, she is also my least favorite character of the whole movie. The directors made her personality all over the place, and sometimes it felt like she was playing multiple roles. She never had a distinct thing that made her character stand out to me.

After gathering a group of very unique individuals that they believe could potentially learn to dance, Quinn uses her efforts to recruit former champion of the “Work It” competition, Jake Taylor (Fisher) in hopes of him to choreograph their non-experienced team’s routine to perform at the finals. This point in the film is when it turns into that cliché, lovey-dovey teen movie. From the start, Jake and Quinn hit it off well and by the end of the movie are falling head over heels for each other. 

Jake agrees to choreograph the team’s dance if they make it past qualifiers by themselves, which they coincidentally happen to do. Therefore, Jake does help them along the way of the competition and soon see’s Quinn’s potential as a dancer. While Quinn spends more time with Jake, she opens up and realizes that she may not really want to attend Duke as much as her mother might want her to. Jake helps her out of her comfort zone and tries to teach her that there is more to life than studying and books. Quinn starts to spend more time on dancing and being carefree rather than her schooling and grades, which consequently makes her grades drop. She quits the dance team and goes on to further her studying and concentration on school.

One thing that I didn’t happen to hate about this movie was the messages it gave. Jake regretted it when he stopped dancing, and seeing Quinn learn to love it, made him regain his passion for the incredible art. While doing this, Jake also taught Quinn that there’s a lot to life and that you need to live it, while loving what you do. 

Towards the end of the movie, Quinn realizes her love for dance in a conversation she has with a resident at the retirement home she volunteers at. She rejoins the “TBDs” and gets the squad back together to perfect the routine for their final performance. 

One of my main problems with the movie is how unrealistically fast everybody learns to dance and how they somehow perfect themselves for the last competition. Yes, I understand that it’s a movie and that things just magically happen like that, but as a competitive dancer of ten plus years, I can confidently say that no one can learn to dance that easily within two months as the movie portrays. I also feel like there were so many extra things added to the film that didn’t follow along with the plotline that it just all felt kind of scrambled at some points when I wish it would’ve rather just stayed on track with the main idea.

The fact that Quinn goes from not being able to even find a rhythm to being in love with dance and it being her new passion is also quite annoying to me. I feel as though the film should’ve ended with her still getting into Duke or some elite college instead of her now suddenly being this new dancer and person.

While this was very clearly not my favorite movie I’ve ever seen, it perfectly fits the rom-com teen movie category that many seem to adore. Even though the plot and storyline could’ve been more creative, I did enjoy the people they casted, which made this movie a little more bearable to watch. I wouldn’t say I would recommend this movie, but, by all means, if you want to force yourself to sit through this as much as I had to, be my guest.