What a match-up of performers! Richard Gere with Susan Sarandon - very strange initially, but very successful. While we typically identify Mr. Gere with younger, more stereotypically "beautiful" actors, his pairing with Ms. Sarandon was most fitting with his role in this film.As he attempted to connect with himself, the natural entry of Jennifer Lopez into his life was perfect. It was great to see the two characters go from one end of the spectrum to another - hoping to see it go all the way. While initially disappointing really wanted to see them together , it was a very do-able <more>
end result.Of course, the dancing and music were a great focal point to the story -I loved seeing Mr. Gere and Ms. Lopez doing their "thing." The statistics of the voting on this site for this film were most puzzling. One can only surmise that there were a great many voters who lack a great deal of romance in their souls. Further, as many voters must have lacked an appreciation of great music and dancing.Clearly, one of the most enjoyable films of 2004.
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 <more>
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 absolutely loved this movie and liked it better than the original. I enjoyed the fact that the movie showed that even though you may have a so called perfect life there could still be something missing which I think most of us feel at one time or another. I found this movie to be extremely funny and touching at the same time.This movie is more of a telling of peoples lives and emotions than a story of dance. The dance helps them to bring out their inner selves. I liked the fact that John Clark Richard Gere reflected back on the people that had wills done in his office and that the happier <more>
ones were the ones who took that extra step to get as much out of life as they could possibly do before it was too late.This is a story about a man who does take that extra step and follows his emotions. He sees a beautiful girl in a window three times from the train each night coming home from work and one night he gets off that train in hopes of meeting this girl who works in a dance studio. He ends up signing for dance lessons hoping to be able to dance with her and instead finds happiness in dance.The movie does an excellent job showing how John Clark Richard Gere and the others who are inept and shy and a little ashamed at the beginning become confident in themselves. The scenes in the dance studio are extremely funny. The movie goes on to tell how his wife Beverely Susan Sarandon thinks he is having an affair and hires a private detective.This movie shows how each of their lives have been affected by dance. The acting in this movie is superb. Richard Gere does an unbelievable job of dancing, he is terrific. His acting is second to none and this is the best romantic comedy I've ever seen him in. This is by far the best movie I've ever seen Jennifer Lopez in, she actually does a good job. Susan Sarandon was great and would love to see her and Richard Gere do more movies together. The rest of the supporting cast did an excellent job in their roles.I went to the pre showing of this movie and the theatre was packed and some people had to turn away because there were no more seats available but they did say they would be back to see the movie when it opened up. There was a lot of clapping and laughter during this movie and everyone I spoke to said they loved it, some even said they would be coming back to see it again, as will I.This was perfectly casted movie and you won't be sorry if you go and see it.This is a feel good inside movie, A MUST SEE.
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 <more>
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.
I don't know how many times I've read reviews of this movie that slammed it because "the Japanese version is better." No, it isn't. The Japanese version "different" and different is good. Okay, the Japanese version deals with the social stigmatism of showing off in public and ballroom dancing is one target of their uptightness. That's a great angle to tell a story from.In the U.S., obviously, we don't have that kind of social convention. We have a totally different outlook on such things, but they can run quite parallel to the Japanese way of life. In <more>
the American version, John Clark has pretty much everything he could ask for. A beautiful wife, two great kids, a nice home and much more. And he is bored out of his skull and has no idea why. When he finds that he loves ballroom dancing and then is found out by his wife, he doesn't have to deal with the social implications of public displays as in the Japanese version, but the embarrassment and heartache of having to admit that his "perfect life" was missing something.Though our society doesn't condemn you for wanting to dance, or more specifically, ballroom dance, you will find out how many morons there are around you that will assume that if you are a guy and you love to dance, you must be gay. Link Peterson was absolutely correct in keeping his passion secret for as long as he did and he was dead right on about the reaction that would occur if the people in the office found out about it.So I give this film ten stars just because, as a dance movie, it has great dancing. As a romance, it shows what can happen when secrets are kept and how much better off our relationships would be if we didn't try so hard to hide them. Get this movie and enjoy a good story and quit worrying so much about how Japanese society is "this" and Japanese society is "that."
A subtle commentary on cultural taboos (by howard.schumann)
In Masayuki Suo's Shall We Dance? a suppressed middle-aged accountant on his way home from work spots a beautiful woman gazing pensively out of the window of an upper level dance studio. Determined to get to know her, he gets off the train and enrolls in dancing lessons at the studio but, because of the taboos in Japanese culture against physical touching in public, does not tell his wife. Learning basic waltz, rumba, and mambo steps under the tutelage of the graceful teacher Mai Tamiyo Kusakari , he gradually releases some of his repressed energy and begins to re-experience the joy of <more>
being alive. He practices his steps in the street, at the beach, and underneath his desk at work. Things become a bit complicated, however, when his wife notices a positive change in his attitude and hires a private detective to see if he is having an affair.Koji Yakusyo strikes just the right note as the repressed accountant, conveying a man who has closed down but has a hidden reserve of vitality just underneath the surface. He is ably supported by fellow dance students: Mr. Aoki Naoto Takenaka , a co-worker who wears a black wig and imitates a famous Latin dancer, and Toyoko Eriko Watanabe , a brassy Bette Midler type who constantly changes partners and berates those who do not meet her standards. She admires Sugiyama, however, and is a big factor in changing his outlook when he wants to quit. Mai, the dance instructor, it turns out, is a world-class dancer who was cut off by her father after an accident in a competition in Blackpool, England and is now teaching part time at the studio but dreams of returning to competition.In an emotional scene, she confronts Sugiyama as someone more interested in her affections than in the art of dancing. Later, however, she helps him overcome his fears and both gain the courage to follow their dreams. While Shall We Dance? is essentially a comedy, it is also a subtle commentary on cultural taboos and the restrictive nature of Japanese society. Though the film is subdued and without a big emotional payoff, Suo's strong direction allows us to identify with the characters and glimpse the possibilities in our own life that are open if we are willing to take a chance.
This turned out to be one of the most pleasantly surprising and entertaining films I had seen in a long time. I did not see this film at the theater but on cable. I imagine like most people, a movie starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez gives you thoughts that at some time there's going to be a steamy love scene. However, as the movie unfolded, the relationship between the two characters was something totally unexpected.To wrap this comment up, this movie touched me in a lot of different ways. It was funny and touching with characters people can relate with.So if you can, sit down with <more>
someone you love, snuggle up close and get ready to enjoy a terrific movie.
An American Remake Of A Japanese Movie On Ballroom Dancing (by Desertman84)
"Shall We Dance?",an American remake of the Japanese movie,"Shall We Dansu?",is a movie about John Clark and ballroom dancing.John Clark is a man with a wonderful job as a Estates lawyer.He,too has a charming wife and a wonderful family. But despite of all these things that he possesses,he still feels that something is missing big in his life as he makes his way every day inside the train through the city of Chicago.Each evening on his train commute home, John sees a beautiful woman, staring with a melancholic expression through the window of a dance studio. Haunted by her <more>
sadness, he impulsively takes off the train one night, and signs up for ballroom dancing lessons, hoping to get to know her. It seems like a mistake. His teacher turns out to be not Paulina, but the older and alcoholic owner of the dance studio,Miss Mitzi.He proves just as clumsy just like his classmates on the dance-floor. Even worse, when he does meet Paulina, she rudely tells John to seriously study dance and not to look chance to get to have dinner with her.But, as his lessons continue, John falls in love with dancing. Keeping his new obsession a secret from his family and co-workers, he works hard and get himself involved for Chicago's biggest dance competition.The movie basically was a love story between John and his wife and how dancing gets involved in it instead of a man losing his inhibitions and not worrying about cultural and society expectations about dancing.This is where the remake falters.Aside from that,the acting by Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez are far from being decent. Also, the rest of the cast does not compare with the original.The movie as a whole lacks subtlety and fails to provide many laughs as some characters are forced to be funny especially those played by Stanley Tucci,who portrayed Link; and Lisa Ann Walter,who tried her best to be annoying as Bonnie. One simply cannot prevent from comparing this remake to the original.Nevertheless,this is still a decent remake unlike others like the horrible My Sassy Girl remake starring Elisha Cuthbert and Jesse Bradford from the great Korean classic of the movie with the same title.But not as good as The Departed,a remake of the Hong Kong Classic Infernal Affairs.Overall,it is still a good movie to watch especially for Richard Gere and JLo fans.
Nothing to be afraid of gentleman... (by intcountzero)
A lot of men will run from this so-called 'chick flick'. But I stand before men everywhere, between the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup, with my jockstrap in hand, with my autographed Joe Namath poster in my 'den for men', sitting near my bar and on-top of my pool table, laptop in hand....Do yourselves a favor and watch the film. You'll be rewarded, and maybe learn a few things about yourself along the way.I'm not saying it fix things that might be broken, or try to change you. Women seem to be authority there, and are much better at it. But I would suggest that it <more>
perhaps taking less than 2 hours of your life to learn about the woman you have been married to for over a decade...all over again. We forget to much. Not your fault. It's what makes us human. But we also have in our ability a way to re-gain what was lost. To try and remember again.I guarantee one thing, after watching this film that is not exactly a monument to acting, that will not win one award, that will be snubbed by all men....I guarantee that you might quickly see that woman next to you in bed again for the first time, and remember why it was you went to all that damn trouble standing in front of all of those family and friends, or when you ran away and eloped, and profess it all, that you wanted to be with her from here on in.Give yourself chance to re-take what time took away. Then, when you feel that little bit of warmth above your head that's the light bulb turning on , go to a flower shop, buy some flowers, and bring them home to her tonight for no bloody reason, other than you being able to trick time.Like I said...no academy award....but it will make you think a bit and have fun doing it.