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Shall We Dance
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Reviewed on 2004-10-18
Received[3.5]  out of 4 stars
GenreComedy / Music / Romance
Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and Jennifer Lopez star in a great new film about a lawyer stuck in a rut then discovers ballroom dancing and finds true happiness.

Based on a 1996 Japanese film that was terrific, Peter Chelsom made it even better with this new entry and a charming cast. It's a true feel good movie that will have you laughing, clapping and enjoying the kind of film Hollywood used to make.

Richard Gere plays John Clark, an attorney who works in the Chicago loop and lives a comfortable middle-class life complete with a nice home, wife and two kids. The routine finds John riding the El train home from his office when he notices a dance studio and a beautiful sad woman standing at the window as the train glides by. One day he hops off the train and climbs the stairs to the studio. Before he knows it John is enrolled in a dance class with two other equally clumsy classmates (Bobby Cannavale, and Omar Benson Miller). Lisa Ann Walter is hilarious as a student, often found practicing at the dance studio. She looks like Beth Midler and along with Stanley Tucci (John's fellow office worker who craves ballroom dancing) almost steal the show.

John fails to tell his wife about his late dance lessons and she soon suspects he is having an affair. Gere is the true star here but the whole cast is superb including Susan Sarandon who plays his wife. Other great cast members Jennifer Lopez, the sad dance instructor, his kids, co-workers, other students and teachers keep the show lively.

My wife liked this film so well she saw it four times. I wanted to see it a second time and found "Shall We Dance" delightful again. The audience applauded and clapped at the end of each showing, something very rare these days. Try it, you will like it and who knows, you may want to take up ballroom dancing. The songs are so captivating, they still ring in my ears.

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