Some have lambasted "Heavenly Bodies" as the "worst film ever made," "bad cinema" and "heavily campy," but actually none of these criticisms are true. Films should be evaluated according to what they aspire to be and, consequently, no genre is beyond redemption or beneath contempt. "Heavenly Bodies" never aspired to be "Ghandi" or "Out of Africa." It's a sports film focusing on dance-aerobics for cryin' out loud. The question is: Does it deliver on that level? Yes, in spades.
What is required in a aerobics sports flick from 1984? Quality characters, heavenly bodies (sorry), energetic music, kinetic direction, a story that keeps your attention and a film that generally gets your blood pumping, right? "Heavenly Bodies" scores well in all these areas. For instance, Cynthia Dale is a great protagonist for this type of flick; she's cute, winsome, sprightly and is insanely curvaceous. Although Jennifer Beals was fine in "Flashdance," Cynthia easily surpasses her. And Cynthia is only one of the numerous shapely women featured throughout. There are guys too, of course, for those who care.
The criticisms that "Heavenly Bodies" is "bad cinema" and "heavily campy" are based solely on the fact that the film is from 1984 and involves dance-aerobics. Aerobics was a fad that goes by different names today and the attire & hairstyles are naturally dated, which make the film an easy target for contempt. But this does not make it bad filmmaking or campy in the least. As far as "heavily campy" goes, there's nothing artlessly mannered or self-consciously artificial in the story or performances; and there's nothing remotely campy in the sense of, say, the 60's "Batman" tv series. The story and actors play it straight throughout. Do these critics even know what 'camp' is?
Well said Durrkk. All genres are legit, it is the execution that makes or breakes a film. I for one had a blast watching this.
Who says violence is not the answer?
Thanks, Dustbowler. It's interesting to note that not one person has agreed with the original poster since he first started this thread almost four years ago.
I was entertained from beginning to end and that's the name of the game in filmmaking.