Shall We Dance (2004) is a English movie. Peter Chelsom has directed this movie. Richard Gere,Jennifer Lopez,Susan Sarandon,Stanley Tucci are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2004. Shall We Dance (2004) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama,Music,Romance movie in India and around the world.
John Clark is a middle aged Chicago estate lawyer. He loves his family, which includes his wife Beverly, but their combined busy schedules and getting caught in a rut after two decades of marriage has left him feeling unfulfilled. While taking the el train home every night, he notices the same young, beautiful contemplative woman staring out of one of the windows of Miss Mitzi's Dance Studio, which specializes in ballroom. He is intrigued enough with her beauty and sadness to go in one evening on his way home. He learns that she is Paulina, one of the instructors and a former world class ballroom dancer. Because of her, he signs up for beginner group dance lessons, regardless of them being taught by Miss Mitzi herself, and not Paulina. As time progresses, John gets caught up in the lives of those at Miss Mitzi's: his two fellow classmates - overweight Vern who wants to learn to dance for his upcoming wedding, and Chic, who wants to impress the ladies - and two of the studio's ...
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I saw the Japanese original film "Shall We Dance?" few years ago and I was charmed by its subtlety and delicacy. I did not plan to see the remake because I am not crazy about the remakes in general and I did not look forward to see Lopez or Gere in the movie together. When I finally saw the movie (my mom who's seen both films highly recommended the American version to me), I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. The cultural contrast of the Japanese film ceased to exist in the 2004 movie but there is still a lot to like in it. First of all, I love to watch good dancing and "Shall We Dance?" has plenty of it. Gere's and Lopez's dancing together has grace and passion, and it was a wonderful moment in the film. Then, there are memorable and funny supporting characters that had screen time enough to become more than the lifeless shadows - Stanley Tucci (Link) and Lisa Ann Walter (Bobbie) for whom the ballroom dancing is the road to freedom, and happiness. And the last but not the least, the movie is asking the question, how to make a man happy if he's got everything - the job he enjoys, the family he loves, his health, and good looks but something is missing? It would take more than any movie to answer the question but perhaps it would help one day just take a different road and open a new door?
I do not remember when was the last time I left the movie theater with such positive feelings and in such a good mood as after seeing this movie. Having not seen the Japanese original and having known only that the movie did not perform extremely well in the US, I did not know what to expect when I went in. I was very pleasantly surprised. The movie is very entertaining, sweet and kind in commenting on people's little quirks. Emotionally there is not a single false moment. And there a couple of genuinely funny moments (none better than the Gere-Tucci moment in the men's room). It does help, I guess, if you are over forty (like myself) to understand the yearning of the main character (Gere) who has no reason NOT to be happy in his life, yet he cannot help but missing "something". I loved all the little stories of the supporting characters and I loved the fact that the movie took the time to wrap up all the stories in the end. I guess the movie underperformed because it was seen as a star vehicle whereas it is more an ensemble piece. That is not to say that Gere, Sarandon or Lopez are miscast. Not at all, in fact now that I have seen the movie twice, it is difficult to imagine a different cast, they all seem to be perfectly chosen for their parts. But it is really the supporting cast which really makes the movie work. It is difficult to chose just one, but Stanley Tucci is quite exquisite in his role. Though the movie is rather light in its tone, Sarandon character's observations on the reason why people get married is rather interesting and stays with you after leaving the theater. I hope Peter Chelsom will continue making movies like Serendipity" and this one: there are definitely not enough movies of this kind around anymore. This is a movie I will return to each time I will be feeling down. And a special mention goes to the soundtrack. Chelsom seems to really have a hand for picking the right tunes (Serendipity soundtrack is one of the best movie soundtracks ever) and here the choice of the music really helps to define the emotional core of the movie.
I should start by admitting that it was quite a while ago (New Years Day 1997, to be exact) that I watched the Japanese original, 'Shall We Dansu' (which, incidentally, IS THE ORIGINAL; the Astaire/Rogers 1937 flick, which happens to have the same name, IS NOT). However, although I don't remember every single detail, the essential feelings as well as some of the vivid images still seem fresh in my mind, particularly the glittering performance of Koji Yakusyo and Tamiyo Kusakari. The Hollywood remake, while not as good as the Japanese original, is at least passing grade, in capturing the essence of the film, 'a man seeking not so much a woman as an answer to his question. Why is she sad? What is she thinking' (Ebert, on 'Shall We Dansu', NOT 'Shall We Dance'), as well as everybody's passion for ballroom dancing. Richard Gere continues to exude his charm on the female audience. Jennifer Lopez, following Maid in Manhattan, continues to get more comfortable with more matured roles. Oscar best actress (and 5 times nominee) Susan Sarandon is dependable as ever. I'm trying very hard to think of a movie in which I can't find Stanley Tucci and darn it, the more I watch the guy, the more I like him!
I went to this today at a Sneak Preview with my daughter. I was hoping to not be bored. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find this a greatly entertaining film, kudos to the screenwriter Audrey Wells who crafted an excellent presentation from a work originally by Masayuki Suo, who wrote the Japanese film from which this is a remake. There was so much I liked it's hard to decide where to begin. At times infectious with fun and genuinely funny this is a great look at several aspects of enhancing one's life. The story was much better than most dance movies as it was less about dance and more about what it means to be human. For that we should thank Director Peter Chelsom whose only other notable work seems to be the film 'Serendipity'. In this outing, the experienced Richard Gere (who, BTW, is only a year older than me) plays a highly successful attorney bored with his life in spite of being married to a stunning and still very sexy Susan Sarandon. He seems to have everything on the surface (how could you not with Ms. Sarandon as a wife?), everything that is, except fun in his life. He longingly spies a brooding Jennifer Lopez staring out the window of an old dance studio in decline as he passes by on the L train each day as he goes home from work. She raises his curiosity enough that he thinks he wants to meet her. It's a dance studio with a sign that says that watching is welcome. Lopez immediately scoops him up for a dance class for beginners in ballroom dancing and there it takes off. His initial interest in the famously callipygous Ms. J is finally supplanted with a genuine love of dancing. He is hooked and it changes his life for the better and we have a great time sharing his new found joy. I was pleased beyond words that this did not fall headlong into what could have been a film of nothing but infidelities. That it didn't follow that path is a laudable tribute to scores of real people who do the same every day; turn away from temptation. I think this is just about my favorite role I've ever seen Gere in. He played the part with great skill and brought out just the right emotions from the audience who applauded at the end. Even the great Ms. Sarandon adds an unexpected turn as philosopher with a comment on the realities of marriage that ring fully true. She made the perfect counterpoint as the amazing superwife who made us all wonder if Gere was nuts for being so unhappy at the start. As for the rest of the cast, Anita Gillette was wonderfully cast as the studio owner Miss Mitzi. Her portrayal of the older woman who has her best days behind her is both touching and sweet without making us feel sorry for her. She seems in her element here. She did a wonderful job. Bobby Cannavale as 'Chick', whom I last saw playing a ruggedly handsome paramedic in the TV series Third Watch, did a terrific job as one of Gere's fellow beginners. He also gave one of the biggest laughs of the film just at the end. We should be treated to more of him on the big screen, he graces it well. The previously unseen Omar Benson Miller as 'Vern' and Mya who plays his girlfriend both added some warm moments of their own, his in a more literal sense. The very good Lisa Ann Walter plays Bobbie, a very funny character role she wore so well she nearly owned every scene she was in. Just about the best in the film was Stanley Tucci, who did an absolutely brilliant turn as - and I paraphrase - 'Just about the only hetero guy on earth who like parading around dancing in sequins.' He was great, so great in fact, that if he doesn't get a nomination for a Best Supporting Actor award he'd be robbed. He did steal a lot of scenes with no apologies needed. He deserved every one. The rest of the elements in the film worked very well to paint just the right mood. The sets were realistic and not overly noticeable, leaving the attention to the actors where it belonged. The costuming was great and added some great moments of their own, from Sarandon in a T Shirt to Lopez in an amazing gown near the end to even Gere's tuxedos and natty business suits. But it's the costumes of Tucci and Walter that are the most entertaining. The musical score was great too, just right for the dancing and mood of the film. The sound editing was outstanding, very enjoyable. We all left the theater with smiles on our faces talking about bringing friends back to see it when it comes out. It is a film well worth the price of admission.
In Chicago, the workaholic lawyer John Clark (Richard Gere) is feeling bored with his routine life, limited to work and stay at home with his wife Beverly Clark (Susan Sarandon) and his teenager's son and daughter. One night, while traveling home by train, he sees the beautiful face of Paulina (Jennifer Lopez) in the balcony of a dance school, and a couple of days later, he decides to visit the school and take dancing classes every Wednesdays. However, he becomes ashamed to tell his family his "little secret". Meanwhile, Beverly feels the changes in her happier husband, and hires a private eye to investigate whether John is having an affair. "Shall We Dance?" is a delightful entertainment. It is pleasant to see a nice cast like the sexy Jennifer Lopez, the charming Richard Gere, the surprisingly great dancer Stanley Tucci, the funny Lisa Ann Walter, the wonderful Susan Sarandon and excellent support actors and actresses playing and dancing great music along 106 minutes. After watching this feel-good romance, the viewer will certainly feel lighter and relaxed. My vote is seven. Title (Brazil): "Dança Comigo?" ("Dance With Me?") Obs: On October 15th 2005, I saw the original "Shall We Dansu?", which is better and better than this remake.