After playing wise-cracking sidekicks in movies like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Attack the Block, Nick Frost had effectively developed a pretty sweet little niche for himself in Hollywood. Chances are he could have kept making money playing the drunken but lovable goof who shoots off asides and plays video games for a long time. In his third collaboration with director Edgar Wright, The World’s End, however, Frost showed that he had deeper depths than that as a performer. In that film he played more of a straight-laced character, one that was repressing some past pains, and he did a great job with it. Enough to make one wonder whether he has it in him to break out of the sidekick role and anchor a film himself as the leading man. Well, lo and behold, we now have our first film that’s making the attempt at putting Frost front and center, and it’s a dancing-themed romantic comedy called Cuban Fury.
The story starts with Frost’s character as a salsa-obsessed (the dance style, not the condiment) little kid named Bruce who has such a knack for shaking his ass and wearing flamboyant shirts that he and his sister-partner cut a swath of dance competition wins all the way to the national championships. A change happens the night of the big final dance when he’s jumped by a gang of meathead kids and handed a pretty serious beating for looking like a dandy though. From that point on, Bruce decides that “salsa is for pussies,” and eventually his non-dancing ways lead to him growing up to become a boring, frumpy office worker who happens to look a lot like Nick Frost. Thankfully for us, this is the beginning of the movie and not the end. Another change happens when a comely new co-worker named Julia (Rashida Jones) shows up at Bruce’s office and turns out to be a big time salsa enthusiast herself. Can our hero conquer his dance-fear and woo the object of his affection?