Shall We Dance
In this remake of the 1997 Japanese film, estate lawyer John Clark (Richard Gere) is happily married to Bev (Susan Sarandon) but yearns for a change in his monotonous routine. On his evening train ride home from his Chicago office, he notices a lovely but sad, young woman (Jennifer Lopez) standing at the window of Miss Mitzi’s School of Dance. His curiosity leads him to sign up for a beginner’s ballroom dancing class, changing his life forever. Miss Mitzi (Anita Gillette) is a delightfully funny, middle-aged lady, and Paulina, the sad woman, is a professional ballroom dancer and instructor. John and his inept male classmates become close friends, but his biggest shock is discovering that Link Peterson (Stanley Tucci), a member of John’s law firm, is one of the star dancers hiding behind ridiculous outfits. John and his friends spring to new life as they waltz and tango their way into a championship competition.
I wish we could award this film the Dove Seal because I really liked it because of the music and dancing. The story was cute, well written and the cast did a marvelous job. Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez on the dance floor was not Fred and Ginger, but they did a wonderful job and it was enjoyable to watch. Stanley Tucci was hilarious as Link Peterson. Some might remember him from The Pelican Brief where he played a paid assassin. In Shall We Dance he plays a frustrated “closet” ballroom dancer and he really plays it well.
If you like to dance and enjoy watching other people dance you will enjoy this film. The problem for families comes with the foul language. They throw the F-word in there and it was totally unnecessary. Also, there were several profanities. If they would have refrained from using the foul language, this would have been a good family film because of the Clark family values in the end. They should have left out the foul dialog and stuck to dancing. The other cautionary note would be the intensely “hot” dance scene between Lopez and Gere.