Leaving us uncertain
By Valerie Milano
Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Today) 10/19/2012 – Musical Chairs is a touching story about discovering your individual passion and the importance of finding inner strength to make your dreams come true. Fusing elements of comedy, love and drama, the full-length movie takes you on a ride that is simultaneously endearing and hilarious. Starring Puerto Rican heartthrob E.J. Bonilla (Guiding Light) and American beauty, Leah Pipes (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) the two embark upon a truly inspirational journey of life and love.
Armando (E.J. Bonilla) is a young dancer who earns his keep by working days for his families restaurant and teaching older affluent and (and often white) women the language of love through his gyrating hips and eloquent moves as a Latin and Ballroom dance instructor. Treated as a second-class citizen by the owner of the company, Daniel (Phillip Willingham), Armando dances with himself as he cleans and shuts down the studio for the night. As he gracefully grooves about the room with his broomstick partner, he realizes someone is watching him; Mia (Leah Pipes), a lead teacher that he has been admiring from afar. The two share a dance that is so intimate that both are left jarred when Daniel finds them and demands Mia leave for outing into the New York streets. Upon their departure, Armando discovers a scarf she has left behind, and calls down from the window to toss it to his love. As she turns to catch it, Mia is tragically struck by a car, surviving, but paralyzed from the waist down.
Abandoned by Daniel, whom she had been training with for an upcoming competition, it is Armando who comes to her aid and ultimately encourages her to see life beyond the wheelchair she has become bound to. Inspired by video footage of disabled dancers, Armando starts a dance class for patients who no longer have use of their lower extremities, hoping to get Mia out of the depression she suffers from knowing she would never again be able to express her passion through the movement of dance. Though it takes time for her to come around, they eventually become partners and enter a Latin and Ballroom dance contest for those in wheelchairs. Mia and Armando, along with a colorful cast of cohorts, including an African American transvestite and a womanizing Casanova train arduously for the competition. Throughout the process, we watch the love unfold between the two, all the while being lavished with the rhythms of a rump shaking Latin soundtrack.
With closing scene leaving us uncertain as to whether or not they have won the competition, one thing certain, the will to live and love no matter the circumstances is a truly powerful component to human existence.