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  • This is a fun and entertaining movie for anyone who likes gymnastics. It features Keanu Reeves (pre-"Bill & Ted") as the wannabe boyfriend of aspiring highschool gymnastic champion Olivia D'Abo. One of the more memorable scenes shows Robin & Leah at the drive-in having a tumbling challenge to see who's the "best"--Robin "wins" with a running-roundoff-backhandspring-backflip over a red sportscar. The movie is also completely "80's"--with big hair, pop music and funky clothes. While the technical aspects of the movie leave a bit to be desired, and the plot line is a bit predictable, it does have the requisite happy ending.
  • lmm_107-128 July 2006
    This movie is not the typical sports movie. It is about a girl named Robin who has gone through many tragedies and yet never stops trying to achieve her goals. Early on in the movie we find out that she was recently in a car crash and has a knee injury. This is especially terrible to her because it keeps her from reaching her full potential in the sport she loves the most gymnastics.

    Unlike many sport movies, Robin doesn't start out as the best there is. She has to work at it. Her aspirations are not what the whole film is about either. She also has troubles at home with her alcoholic step-dad and is not the most popular kid. Also, the film is not entirely focused on Robin. There are also other characters who have difficulties in their lives All in all this film is a feel good movie. It is full of music and spirit. You will enjoy the acting and relate to the characters.
  • What an insult to Olivia D'Abo who plays the film's heroine, Robin, to have Keanu Reeves appear so large on the box art of the film (and at least on recent reissues, to have only Reeves appear on the box), considering that she was the star. I realize that it is his name that will ultimately sell this long-forgotten After School Special, but at least give the woman some credit.

    Despite that, this has to be one of the worst teen sports-themed films that I have ever seen, and it strives very hard to add not only every teen and sports movie cliché from the class warfare between the feuding gymnasts to the teen romance. And, in striving to somehow deliver itself as an amateur alternative of Flashdance (with the music in one of the warehouse dance scenes is even quite close to Michael Sembello's notable 'Maniac' which was made famous by Flashdance, or was it the other way around?). It includes similar dance sequences and worse yet, even the 80s dance and sports traditions of corny dance-offs between the heroine and her antagonist(s), the one who doubts her successes and abilities on the team. We saw this in Trashin' (a vert ramp joust) and Rad (BMX dancing at the prom, although it wasn't much for competition, but rather for fun) for example. In fact, this movie is chock full of unrealistic corniness, such as the somewhat homo-erotic rolling in the clothes at the Salvation Army with Robin and her friend from the team.

    Nonetheless, the film is about a young girl who comes from a rather poor background. To top it off in a massive need to squeeze from audiences as much sympathy as possible, she lives with her ailing mother, her obnoxious sister, and her careless (and slightly abusive) stepfather. Needless to say, homelife is not so appealing. Add to the mix, a talent for gymnastics, but several obstacles to joining the team (including the nuisance of her arrogant, snobby teammates, and a coach who also eventually doubts her abilities to compete well). And, of course, we can't forget that she's got eyes for one of the pretty boy preppies who is dating one of the obnoxious teammates, nor that she doesn't have a steady boyfriend (although Keanu as Tommy later enters the picture). Could this kid be any more pathetic? And it seems that one mess after another comes along to embarrass herself in her painfully long, redundant, and clichéd quest to prove her worth to everyone.

    But, even the major moments of cheesiness which comprise most of the film, are hardly worth mentioning considering that the biggest distraction to this film is the horrible acting and dialog. (I like how the gym coach suddenly appears at the diner in the middle of the dance-off to scold the teammates). It makes episodes of 'Amazing Stories' look like Shakespeare.

    I imagine anyone able to locate this film and watch it these days is probably drawn to it mostly because of the nostalgic factor. For that you might be satisfied, but it is also an incredibly forced drama. So, Caveat Emptour.
  • 10 years ago I searched for a copy of this movie on dvd. Or vhs NO EVIDENCE IT EVER EXISTED! And somehow even as Keanu Reeves debut movie IT DID NOT EXIST!!!! I REMBER THIS MOVIE I WATCHED IT REPEATEDLY! IT WAS CALLED FLYING CAUSE THE TEAM WAS CALLED THE NIAGARA FLYERS... and the part where the Robin talks about how it feels to be on the poles .. she feels like she is flying and no one and nothing .. including Bob or anyone else can touch her! But I went searching for a copy of this film on dvd.. it does not exist .. I had to cross reference the actors. Olivia and Keanu.. and I found only one movie at the same time "DREAM TO BELIEVE". I checked it is nearly identical. There are a lot of differences.. many changes.. but it is almost the same movie.. it was NEVER CALLED DREAM TO BELIEVE.. ON MY COPY OF THE MOVIE I WATCHED REPEATEDLY!!! It was called FLYING.. the cover of the movie showed Olivia D'abo in her gymnastics body suit in a dismount midair. Her name was starring Olivia D'Abo .. I know that for a perfect fact! No mistakes no way I am wrong or mistaken.. yet here the only copy of this movie on vhs that I can find now!!!! Is only called "dream to believe" wtf! Shows Keanu Reeves only. even though he is just a minor character in the movie definitely not a main character nor is this movie about him he has little airtime. yet in Dream to believe.. he and only he is on the cover ! Olivia is on the back. In a stylized handstand ...wtf? What's going on? I know there is a phenomena called the " Mandela Effect" where a lot of people distinctly remember something in pop culture one way.. and others show it's a completely different proof it's different for example .. the Berenstain Bears ..many ppl remember it spelled that way. And now the books only show Berenstein bears... spelling. And many people swear they saw a movie called Shazam starring Sinbad as a Genie .. when in fact the real movie was KAZAM starring Shaq as a Genie .. I get if they re released the movie years later putting the focus on Keanu after her got famous.. but. Why change the name .. but I checked Wikipedia. No where did it say the film was originally called Flying! This has always bugged me that I could not find it. But tonight on a hunch I checked IMDb I found it! See I knew I was not crazy! But Keanu is still on the cover so it's not the original release ? Hmm still confused .. he barely has 20 mins screen time
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a typical 80s dance/gymnastic/music vehicle type of film; underdog with a hard life works hard and is involved in lots of montage shots to add drama and interest including the 80s obligatory "girls getting sweaty whilst working out in leotards" scene. It's typical of the 80s in terms of gregarious fashion and music, much reminiscent of Flashdance and that sort of thing and the music is poppy and upbeat.

    D'Abo wasn't bad, but was slightly cheesy and you could see her consciously acting - especially in the more emotional bits *pauses, looks up so voice breaks* but it was typical of the genre. Fans of gymnastics will possibly enjoy this for the technical stuff but you are aware that a body double was used for most of it so it's all a bit silly. Keanu Reeves plays the adorable wannabe/boyfriend (cue more High School "romance" montages) and is even then (age 22?) the most convincing of the actors in the film - everyone else is a little contrived and stage school enunciation/deliberately emotive whereas Reeves is more natural and smooth, and is some needed comic relief in some of the silly scenes predictive of Ted Theodore Logan goofiness.

    Certainly not the best movie I've ever seen but I quite enjoyed it for what it is - an 80s teen fun film with a few morals/inspirations thrown in especially it's notable by it's inclusion of positive role model black characters that aren't glorified extras and don't conform to negative stereotypes that were common back then, albeit how improbable the relationships are. I applaud the film for showing up the racist character as a total and utter prat, rather than the comic relief (!) and some serious issues are addressed in the film - it's actually a little darker than comparable films.

    Lots of different names for this film - Flying, Teenage Dream (?) and the one I have is "Dream to Believe" which is daft - Flying makes a lot more sense as it's actually referenced in the film. I do love 80s films and whilst this isn't one of the best, it is what it is and it was fairly entertaining.
  • wiswell7729 October 2020
    I came across this via Cynthia Nixon's credits, but I don't think she is in the film. And to quote another review this is a fun Gymnastic film 80s film to watch.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Flying" (aka "Teenage Dream") looks to be another one of those '80s feel-good movies using the same tired premise of a main character overcoming adversity and achieving their dreams- and essentially, it is exactly that. While the story is predictable, there are lots of other things thrown in that were very unexpected of such a movie.

    Main character Robin is a girl in high school who has a love of gymnastics. Her loving father, also her gymnastics coach, dies in a car crash (this is off-screen and presumably takes place a few years before the film begins) and Robin severely injures her knee in the crash, greatly dampening her gymnastic abilities and forcing her to start training from the ground up. As if this alone wasn't enough to make you root for the underdog, her mother marries a mean brute, presumably to make ends meet, and she must switch schools and move in with him and his daughter (also all takes place before film begins) Not only that, both Robin and her mother work in sweatshop-like conditions in his dry-cleaning business every day, and her mother is also exhausted and sick. At night, Robin goes into some abandoned warehouse (?) with a policeman (?) and practices gymnastics. To top off her depressing life, she helps out with the gymnastics team, who are all snobby and mean to her, except for one, a charming girl who is a good friend but has her own problems as well (starving herself to lose weight)

    Things do start to look up for Robin, however. After seeing her abilities, the coach adds her to the team, and picks her and two others to compete in an important competition. Keanu Reeves, in the very early days of his career, shines as her dorky friend Tommy and later her boyfriend, whom Robin initially ignored in favor of a preppy boy who, of course, doesn't like her back.

    Good times do not last long, for as soon as things are going good, Robin's mother dies. Showing almost no emotion about that, Robin almost immediately goes off and has sex with her boyfriend (though they are only shown undressing each other) This was unexpected as well, as only a short while before, Tommy had given up on her and was ignoring her. She has comfort in her friend and in Tommy, and (of course) wins the competition- THE END.

    Was this an amazing film? Of course not. But if you like a good cheesy '80s flick every once in a while, you'll get all the nostalgic trademarks: big hair, dancing scenes with pop music and boomboxes, training montages, girls in legwarmers, etc.

    The acting is not great, it's campy, and there are some weird undertones. Olivia d'Abo, who plays Robin, was only 15 at the time of filming, yet there are enough close-up shots of her butt and breasts in tight tank tops to make you feel uncomfortable. Keanu Reeves, pre-stardom, is very likable and believable in his role. There is also the minor token black character, in the form of the trustworthy groovy dancing cop. Olivia d'Abo's use of a stunt double for all of the gymnastics scenes is outrageously obvious, and she is somewhat unbelievable in her role as the (quirky?) Robin. It also should be noted that Reeves was 20 and d'Abo was 15, playing a couple. However, he is so kind and cute and their short scene in bed was about the most sweet and loving thing i've ever seen in a movie, to be honest. They even wash the sheets together afterwards- I mean come on. On the other hand, there was a very strange scene in which Robin intently watches Tommy, biting her lip, as he dumps a bunch of onions and toppings on their street vendor hot dogs. Three seconds later, they are shown French kissing. (???Ew???)

    Yeah, it's a bad movie, but it's a campy, guilty pleasure, if only for Reeves's very youthful charisma, and it's one you will probably get made fun of for if somebody catches you watching it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I watched this and I thought it was okay, but it wasn't anything special.

    The script could have done with a lot more work, but the story had some nice touches such as: The main character Robin Crew was injured in a car accident that also killed her dad, leaving her with injuries that diminished her abilities which she must work to overcome.

    I did like the story though but it suffer from: 1. Robin's relationships not being explored properly.

    2. I felt there were some unneeded additions like the stepfather. The team mates who did not accept Robin were enough.

    3. It did turn cheesy in places.

    Nevertheless it was reasonably entertaining, but really not something I would watch over and over again.

    It would have been better if it was more better thought and the script had more work. Much of the work on it seemed lame though there were decent performances by Olivia D'Abo, Keanu Reeves and Rita Tunsingham.

    All in all a so-so movie which I think the most stellar thing about was the soundtrack. I did like how it was about succeeding despite the odds but like I said it suffered from let downs and a very flawed script.
  • dansview22 January 2013
    Remember that the nostalgic aspect of 80s movies did not apply when they actually came out. So we are reviewing them as pieces of nostalgia, not just as movies. As nostalgia, I liked this one.

    Buffalo is a good location for a movie about working class teen underdogs. Flashdance and All The Right Moves were in the Pittsburgh area, a bit more cliché.

    Gotta love that soundtrack, although again, when it actually came out, you were used to hearing that quasi-disco-optimism genre. Now you are enjoying it as nostalgia. It makes the film for me.

    It was actually filmed in '84 but was not released for a couple of years. Keanu was 20, and Olivia was 15. I hope they were both supposed to be Seniors in high school, given their romantic relationship. (As opposed to Sophomores)

    Most of Olivia's early films were showcases for her considerably precocious and provocative budding sexuality. In this one though, she was so young, that it makes you feel a bit creepy watching it, unless you are a youngster yourself. I guess the intended audience was and is, teenagers, but even so, 15 is too young for screen sex in my opinion.

    I'm still not sure what dancing in a warehouse has to do with competitive gymnastics, although I understand that Tumbling routines are done to music. In Flashdance, the girl was making a living as a pop dancer, while aspiring to ballet. Not so in this one.

    The warehouse scenes were gratuitous and included the obligatory dancing African American. That made me squirm, sensing exploitation, but no one forced the guy to do it.

    They really stacked the deck with all our character's home life troubles too. Jeez. Dead dad, abusive step dad, ill mom, surly sister, anorexic friend. Wow.

    Reeves displays his usual "everyman" appeal that made him a star. I mourn the awkward heavy vibe he adopted or was forced to develop, in later films. He looks very young here.

    If you are a teenager and fantasize about having a boyfriend like teen Keanu, or you are a lonely girl who dreams of overcoming odds and finding love, you will enjoy this one. Please enjoy the 80s vibe and learn to appreciate your parents' generation.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's not really about gymnastics; swap out the occasional training montages and it could just as easily be about archery, or microbiology, or a booger-flicking tournament. Instead, like every other Rocky/Flashdance derivative that flooded the 80s market, it's about conquering adversity with stick-to-it-iveness, rendering all social/personal realities irrelevant by your lonesome - with love interest standing by of course. Ronald Reagan top to bottom, in short; so as a piece of cinema it's down to the details. Some of the actors are quirky enough to liven things up - especially the love interest, brought to you by none other than Mr. Keanu Reeves, warming up for Ted; heroine Olivia D'Abo's hateful alkie dad and big-hair stepsister are more interesting than the sickly mom or her utterly inert bitch-nemeses/teammates, one of whom appears to be made of porcelain. It's my instinct to be appalled by the comic-relief black guys, but on the other hand at least they're in the movie. But D'Abo doesn't quite convince with her awkward-girl shtick, and in the absence of any other narrative focus the lack of interest in the gymnastics themselves really does matter; it's all just bodies hurtling around, and not only is the outcome of the big tournament a foregone conclusion, it's all performed by an obvious double.
  • I wonder what the famed Golden Harvest studio of Hong Kong were thinking when they decided to be associated with this tacky Canadian film. While I do admire the Canadians who made this movie for the fact that they did it on their own without government financing, the finished product is really hard to sit through. It's a pretty cheap-looking affair, looking unfocused and sporting odd-looking pastel colors. What really sinks the movie, however, is the script. There is not one turn in the lumbering story that comes as a surprise or has been given a new spin. Several relationships the movie's heroine is involved with seem unfinished or were left on the editing room floor. If you're wondering about Keanu Reeves, who appeared in this movie before he became famous, let me just say that his level of acting here is just as bad as it is in most of his Hollywood movies. This movie has apparently moved into the public domain, which isn't really a surprise - who on earth would put up the money to maintain its copyright?
  • to movie,this movie felt like one of those after school specials,only lower budget and lower everything else.i guess this was supposed to an inspirational movie of some sort,but it didn't work for me.yet some how it comes across as preachy.it has very pale shades of Flash Dance,but so what?there just isn't any excitement in this movie.the dialogue is contrived and clichéd to death.of course,the whole movie feels like a bad 80's cliché.the acting was less than stellar,though that has a lot to do with what the actors were given(or in this case-not)to work with.on top of that is the poor song choices,with really bad lyrics.i felt embarrassed for all the actors involved.they are all talented,but you can't tell from this movie.this is just my opinion of course,but i have to give Flying AKA Dream to Believe a 1/10