Can we agree once and for all that Monday is the worst day of the week?
“We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together,” the pair stated. “Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now. There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision — just two best-friends realizing it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible.”
A couple of takeaways: First, the horrifying use of three spaces after each period — and that color gradient, honestly — must be stopped. But more important, the split signifies the end of a fairy-tale romance that began on the set of Anne Fletcher’s “Step Up.” The Tatums met playing two teenagers in the 2006 movie: Nora, a modern dancer who attends the Maryland School of the Arts, and Tyler, a hip-hop dancer from inner-city Baltimore who is forced to perform community service at the school. When Nora’s dance partner conveniently injures his ankle, a mop-holding Tyler steps in as his replacement.
“Step Up” is predictable yet incredibly endearing because of the actors’ chemistry. Enough viewers flocked to the theater to persuade producers to make four spinoff movies and a YouTube Red series inexplicably starring Ne-Yo. But none of those compare to the original. The Tatums carried the film on their twirling backs, somehow allowing a film with a 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes to captivate audiences.
Oh, “Step Up.” How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
1. I love thee for showcasing Channing Tatum’s many talents
Before “Step Up,” we mainly knew Tatum for playing Amanda Bynes’s hunky love interest earlier that year in “She’s the Man.” That role allowed him to stick a tampon up his nose — for nosebleeds, as Bynes’s character tells him — and permanently etched that image in our minds. But “Step Up” showcased his dance skills through some “nifty routines,” as The Washington Post’s film critic put it that year, and basically served as a tame run-through for 2012’s “Magic Mike.” The movie also let Tatum try out a bit of physical comedy, which he put to good use in “21 Jump Street.”
2. I love thee for giving us an amazing soundtrack
The “Step Up” soundtrack is slept on. You know who created original music for this movie? Ciara, Chamillionaire and Kelis, to name a few. Mario, known for the popular — and, coincidentally, Ne-Yo-produced — single “Let Me Love You,” and Drew Sidora also contributed to the album. They played Nora’s classmates Miles and Lucy in the movie.
A few recommendations from a superfan: Drew Sidora’s ” ‘Til The Dawn,” which Lucy performs during one of the best dance scenes; Yung Joc’s ” ‘Bout It,” an instrumental version of which plays during Nora’s final showcase; and Samantha Jade’s “Step Up,” the title track.
3. I love thee despite Skinny’s emotionally manipulative death
The soundtrack also includes Youngbloodz’s “I’mma Shine,” a great track that unfortunately plays when Skinny (De’Shawn Washington), the brother of Tyler’s best friend, Mac (Damaine Radcliff), is killed. Skinny constantly tries to hang out with his older brother and Tyler throughout the movie, and he gets shot after stealing a car while the two are at a party.
This serves as a wake-up call for Tyler, who realizes that he needs to make better decisions in life — such as not ditching Nora right before her dance showcase, for example. Tyler shows up at the last minute and wows the fictional audience with his hip-hop skills, while the actual, teary-eyed audience continues to mourn Skinny’s tragic death.
4. I love thee for constantly playing on ABC Family
Back when we knew Freeform as ABC Family, the channel played “Step Up” all the time. It was either this, “Bring It On” or some “Harry Potter” movie, all of which are excellent choices for when you need something to watch passively. The dance sequences — especially the showcase, which earns Tyler a scholarship to the school — never get old.
The plus side of the movie’s incredibly basic plot is that you can tune in at any point and keep up. The producers appear to have understood that we care about the dancing more than anything else, as the “Step Up” sequels had less and less of a plot as they went on. (“Step Up 2: The Streets” does feature semi-interesting drama between rival dance crews, which leads to someone sticking a fish in a vent.)
5. I love thee for giving us a happy ending
Life can be cruel, and it is nice to know that we can always turn to cheeseball movies such as “Step Up” — and the couple’s incredible “Lip Sync Battle” episode — to make us smile. The Tatums may be going their separate ways, but at least Nora and Tyler are leading happy, fictional lives somewhere in Maryland. That’s the hope, anyway.