Ingratiating comedy-drama that tracks several characters as they dance, talk, love, and, uh, "groove" the night away at a warehouse rave. Serving mostly as a rave primer for the uninitiated, Groove often cuts back to the audience's surrogate character, a dorky newbie (Hamish Linklater) who is discovering everything for the first time: ecstasy, electronic dance music, and of course cliched romance. Far more interesting – and riskier – is a sub-plot involving his freewheeling brother.
There's not much else to this movie except for tons of techno, an awkward cameo by famed DJ John Digweed (who, it seems, agreed to do the movie only if he could plug his new album, which he does) and plenty of young, smiling, blissed-out people digging each other. I must admit that I hate the rave crowd. I find them a bunch of spoiled children, self-satisfied and exclusionary. And that's how I found Groove.
It's interesting to compare Groove to Rave, a film which far fewer people have seen, as the comparisons mirror those between San Francisco (where Groove was made) and Los Angeles (where Rave was made). Rave was cliched too, but was still very LA: pan-ethnic, violence-prone, and filled with a sense of good times gone bad. Groove is mostly Anglo, hippyish, and tech-friendly: the essence of San Francisco. It says it all that when one of Rave's characters overdoses on drugs, she is carried out on a stretcher through an angry mob. When a Groove character does the same, he chills out in a quiet room with his girlfriend feeding him bananas and nursing him back to health.
Groove is just as phony as anything coming out of the major studios, which must be why it made it into Sundance and got theatrical distribution, and the decidedly more downbeat Rave did not.