You know something is up when you arrive at the press junket for a major motion picture and PR reps are actually handing out copies of the stars' family tree. But how else can a journalist be expected to keep all the Wayans who participated in [movie id="381833"]"Dance Flick"[/movie] straight?
There's Keenen Ivory and Marlon and Shawn and Kim and Dwayne, the siblings who worked together back in the days of "In Living Color." The only "ILC"-era Wayans not participating in the film is Damon, but he's being represented by son Damon Jr., who plays the lead role in "Dance Flick." Then there's nephew Craig, who co-wrote the script, and nephew Damien Dante, who directed the film.
It's all so confusing that it's a relief "Dance Flick" -- in theaters Friday (May 22) -- is so straightforward: a parody of every dance movie you've ever seen, or not seen, from "Step Up" to "Save the Last Dance" to "You Got Served."
Marlon summarized the basic plot of so many of those flicks for MTV News: "White girl from the suburbs knows ballet, moves to the inner city, meets a black dude that teaches her hip-hop, they fall in love recklessly, and happy ending, and she does her final dance scene and proves at the end of the day that she's got some soul."
"The movies actually became comedies themselves," Craig added. The Wayans family had already parodied the horror genre with the "Scary Movie" franchise, so shifting their satirical focus to dance films was a natural move.
In "Dance Flick," Damon Jr. plays Thomas, a high school student from the wrong side of the tracks who meets innocent new girl Megan (Shoshana Bush). In between watching the couple fall in love and prepping for an epic dance battle, there are girl-on-girl oil-wrestling matches, break-dancing babies, dudes in leotards, a musical riff on coming out of the closet based on the song "Fame" and even more pop-culture references than there are Wayans ... or almost as many.
Bush's primary challenge was getting her Wayans straight. "I had to get who was who down," she said. "That was step number one."
"I don't even have that down!" responded Damon Jr. "Do you know how long I thought my dad was Uncle Keenen?"
So what do the younger Wayans have to say about the older Wayans? Any dirt we should know about?
"They look silly naked!" laughed Damon Jr.
The older generation was considerably more blunt. "They are the laziest group of untalented nothings that ever existed, and we're carrying these guys," Marlon offered in perfect deadpan. "I just wanted to get them off my payroll and my pocket so I could take care of my babies!"
Will the vampires grab more trophies than the slumdog? What was the year's ultimate onscreen WTF moment? It's up to you to decide the winners of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Vote now, and tune in on May 31 at 9 p.m. ET, when the big show airs live from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California.
Check out everything we've got on "Dance Flick."
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