'Yellow'

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If ABC ever wants to include a real ringer on "Dancing With the Stars," the network should look no further than "Without a Trace's" Roselyn Sanchez, who shows off her sultry moves in the footloose melodrama "Yellow." Sanchez co-wrote the story, produced the film and stars as a classically trained Puerto Rican dancer who heads to New York with dreams of stardom literally dancing in her head but finds herself instead working as a stripper in a club.

The movie follows the familiar trajectory of a fable, hitting all the requisite clichés. After a soap opera setup on the island, Sanchez's Amaryllis quickly finds herself surrounded by an unbelievably nice group of co-workers at the strip joint where she takes it all off under the stage name Yellow. Her main issues seem to come from the intrusive flashbacks of her childhood training under the tutelage of her father, himself a once great dancer, which torment her with guilt.

Enter the film's white knight, a despondent doctor played by D.B. Sweeney, who wants to sweep Amaryllis off to Australia. The melodramatic screenplay by Nacoma Whobrey, from a story by Sanchez and Whobrey, produces a conveniently timed dilemma for Amaryllis, in which she is asked to make that age-old choice between art and love.

It's all slickly directed by Alfredo De Villa ("Washington Heights"), who too often goes for music-video touches, stylistically overwhelming the material. However, he may have simply been trying to compensate for the weak script. The dancing is sexy, but the complete lack of chemistry between Sanchez and Sweeney makes the love story and the film fizzle.

kevin.crust@latimes.com

"Yellow." MPAA rating: R for sexuality, nudity and language. Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes. In selected theaters.

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