(Lisa is currently in the process of trying to clean out her DVR by watching and reviewing all 40 of the movies that she recorded from the start of March to the end of June. She’s trying to get it all done by the end of July 11th! Will she make it!? Keep visiting the site to find out!)
The 39th film on my DVR was Full Out, which aired on Lifetime immediately after Center Stage: On Pointe.
I enjoyed Full Out when it first aired and I enjoyed it even more when I watched it a second time. It’s a truly enjoyable and inspiring dance film and it’s one of the best films to have appeared on Lifetime this year. Not only is it wonderful to watch but it’s a Canadian film, which is always a good thing. It features not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Degrassi actors!
Full Out tells a true story and what a story it is! Ariana Berlin (Anna Golja) is a talented gymnast who is bound for Olympic glory when she and her mother (Ramona Milano) are involved in a devastating traffic accident. While Ariana survives the accident, she spends five days in a coma. When she awakens, she discovers that she has two broken legs, two collapsed lungs, a broken wrist, a broken collarbone, and several cracks ribs. A metal rod has been placed in her leg and her doctors tell her that she’ll never compete again.
At first, Ariana is bitter. Not only does she miss the Olympics but she also has to watch as her best friend (played by Sarah Fisher) goes in her place and wins a silver medal. Ariana lashes out at her friends and her family. Everyone is prepared to give up on her, except for her physical therapist, Michelle (Asha Bromfield). Michelle teaches Ariana hip hop dance and introduces Ariana to her dance troupe. Through dance, Ariana starts to gain back her confidence. Michelle eventually asks Araina to coach the dancers for an upcoming audition to join a famous dance team.
In fact, Ariana has become so confident that she feels ready to return to gymnastics. She is accepted at UCLA, where her coach is the demanding Valorie Kondos Field (Jennifer Beals). However, Ariana struggles to balance both gymnastics and dance. Can she have both or will she be forced to make a difficult choice?
Full Out is an incredibly positive and likable film, one that made me feel good both times that I watched it. The acting is wonderful, the story is inspiring, and the dancing is pure joy. Watch this when you’re in a bad mood or when you’re feeling hopeless and it will immediately cheer you up, I promise!
As I’ve mentioned a few times in the past, this has been a good year for Degrassi actors appearing in Lifetime films. Full Out sets some sort of record by featuring four Degrassi actors! Sarah Fletcher (who played conflicted Christian Becky Baker on Degrassi and also starred in The Stepchild) plays Ariana’s best friend and occasional rival. Jake Epstein, who played bipolar musician/photographer Craig Manning on Degrassi, appears as one of Ariana’s coaches. Ramona Milano, who played Drew and Adam’s mom on Degrassi, plays Ariana’s mom. (Interestingly enough, on Degrassi, Sarah Fletcher’s Becky was a potential girlfriend to both Drew and Adam.) And finally, Anna Golja, who plays bitchy Zoe on Degrassi, gives a great and empathetic performance as Ariana Berlin.
In fact, everyone is great in Full Out. WAY TO GO, CANADA!