Samantha Blair and friends rent out a dance studio where they become local celebrity fitness instructors. As Blair takes notice, she is given the opportunity of a life time to dance on television. After an unjustly move from a corporate workout studio and eviction, Blair challenges her studio dancers against the corporation.
After the success of Flashdance aka my first and most watched VHS, the early 80’s opened the door ways to the magical world of aerobic fitness on film. It didn’t stop with Heavenly Bodies. 1985’s Perfect with Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis followed along with Staying Alive, Death Spa, and Aerobicide – Death Spa being another personal favorite!
Heavenly Bodies introduces us to a world of women who are enslaved by the 9-5 job with the man dominating their behavior in the work place. It’s boring and soul sucking. With the lame-brained “Breakin’ Out of Prison” song blasting in the background, the girls decide they want more out of life and find a studio to rent out with the income they had managed to save from their previous employment which I find no more convincing than a welder by day, stripper by night, who has the potential to become a professional ballerina. But hey, it’s all in fun and what do they name their studio? You guessed it. Heavenly Bodies.
When Samantha is not too busy aerobicizing she is spending quality time with her son and dating a football player who is an aerobics enthusiast but attempts to hold Samantha back from her dreams. Just like a man. Tsk tsk. Samantha beats out another local aerobics teacher for a local TV gig and as her stardom grows she becomes progressively more full of herself.
The bitter loser with a “degree in physical fitness” will stop at nothing to get her way so she has her scum bag boy toy, who runs the corporate gym, takeover Heavenly Bodies. The ladies are now evicted but Samantha Blair is not going out without a fight. She challenges the corporate company to a dance-a-thon of sorts where they all drop like flies until there’s only one dancer standing. If Heavenly Bodies wins, they get to keep their studio. If they lose, they will go back to their 9-5 hell.
Cynthia Dale falls flat with her overacting and I cannot quite find the appropriate words to sum up how her facial expressions creep me out. The rest of the cast is easily forgettable. This isn’t a batch of fresh actors. A few of them have appeared in a horror movie or two that you may have seen. My Bloody Valentine being Dale’s introduction.
The soundtrack features your usual 80’s power ballads that I was never a fan of. This soundtrack has nothing on Flashdance’s soundtrack. The more notable tracks are Bonnie Pointers “Heaven,” “The Beast In Me,” and Dwight Twilley’s “Keep on Working.”
Flaws aside, Heavenly Bodies is a sprightly and stylish work of art with frequent and unnecessary butt shots, thanks to spandex and thigh thrusting. It’s also filled with gratuitous nudity and boom mics (Counting the boom mics in every film has become a fun drinking game.) The film has material to offer for both genders. When I think about it, I think more of my male friends have grown partial to this film than my lady friends. The 80’s was such a special decade.