step sisters trailer

Virtually every club sport has received its own competitive comedy movie: football, cheerleading, dodgeball. Hell, even competitive a capella has gotten its time to shine — and Pitch Perfect 3‘s recent release is there to remind you that singing covers of songs will always be cool.

Stepping is no exception, having received the motion picture treatment since the ’80s, in films like School DazeMac and MeDrumline, and How She Move. But Netflix is opting for a fresh take on this historically black sport with Step Sisters: this time, it’s about white girls learning how to step!

Step Sisters Trailer

Take the quirky college girl antics of Pitch Perfect and throw in some of the tense racial dynamics of Bring It On, and you’ve got the trailer for Step Sisters. It’s too bad that Step Sisters doesn’t seem to have as good of a handle on the cultural coopting that Bring It On so skillfully tackled, instead making it about girl power and the clunky empathetic messaging of being judged for “looking different.”

Drumline director Charles Stone III and Dear White People screenwriter Chuck Hayward seem to have good intentions, but this trailer is tone deaf at best. Early reactions to the film have been skeptical, to say the least, with many criticizing the film’s jokes on racial stereotyping and cultural appropriation.

Star Megan Echikunwoke defended the film in response to the backlash, stating, “The comedy, stereotypes and the social references are meant to be thought-provoking. It’s definitely meant to be provocative. It might be offensive to some people. It’s not like we are trying to be offensive, but I think we’re definitely pushing it a little in a good way.”

Step Sisters stars Megalyn Echikunwoke, Matt McGorry, Naturi Naughton, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Marque Richardson, Eden Sher, Lyndon Smith, Gage Golightly, Nia Jervier and Alessandra Torresani.

Jamilah Bishop (Megalyn Echikunwoke) seems to excel at everything: She’s president of her sorority, captain of the step crew, liaison to the college dean and a star student who is on her way to to Harvard Law School. But when Jamilah is asked to teach a misbehaving, mostly white sorority how to step, success seems impossible. Without telling her own sorority sisters, Jamilah begins training rivals Sigma Beta Beta (SBB) for the “Steptacular” competitive dance competition.

Step Sisters will be available on Netflix on January 19, 2018.

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