Shankman brought in his dance colleagues Anne Fletcher and Chris Judd to choreograph the hip hop and dinner club scenes with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah and dozens of dancers/extras. “The idea of the scene was that Peter doesn’t know this music or how to dance to it, so I showed him a few basic moves, and let him go wild,” says Fletcher.
“I flipped myself around and had fun doing it,” says Martin.
For the dinner club scene, Martin had to be a little more contained, yet still uncoordinated. “I’m not a dancer; I’m Mr. Clunky even when coached,” says Martin. “And Queen Latifah naturally moves really well. So we weren’t exactly Astaire and Rogers; we were more like Soupy Sales and Rogers. But that’s the way the scene was supposed to be anyway.”
Queen Latifah is not only adept on the dance floor, but also a Grammy Award-winning rap artist. She and her partner Shakim Compere will be executive producing the soundtrack for the film. “Before we started production, Adam (who has a great musical ear) and I knew we wanted music to be a real big element in this film, to give it the right momentum,” says Queen Latifah. “There are night club and backyard party scenes which cry out for great hip hop songs.”
Shankman concurs: “The overall feeling of the film is still a traditional Steve Martin comedy, so the score will have emotion and comic beats. But everything is going to have hip hop rhythms underneath it. To that end, Queen Latifah has a song in the film, featuring Mario Winans, called ‘Do Your Thing.’ Also, Queen has recorded a bonus single for the soundtrack called ‘Better Than the Rest.’ In addition, there are some brilliant R&B songs, ranging from Barry White’s ‘I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little More, Babe,’ to Kelly Price’s cover of ‘Ain’t Nobody,’ which was a hit for Chaka Khan.”