“You step. I turn. You look at me. I start to tremble visibly. We move together wordlessly. The dance, the dance of love spins on. Timeless.” This is an example of the poetic lines in Shall We Dance.
This movie takes leading man, Richard Gere, down a path to self-revelation and a renewed sense of romance.
Through the language of dance, John Clark (Gere) learns about life, love, friendship and he becomes a better man.
Based on the 1996 Japanese film of the same title, Shall We Dance takes the traditional romantic comedy for a spin. Clark’s fairly average life – booming career, loving wife and two kids – is missing something crucial.
As a Chicago lawyer who writes wills, he listens intently as people try to sum up their lives. When it is all written and signed, his clients ask if all is done, he responds, “That is all for the paperwork. The rest is up to you.”
On a late night riding home on the L-train, his routine response makes him think. From the train window, he spies the beautiful Paulina (Jennifer Lopez), a dance instructor, as she stares out the window of Miss Mitzi’s dance studio.
Her sad gaze sparks Clark’s own desire for something more.
Hypnotized and intrigued, Clark impulsively jumps off of the L and signs up for beginner ballroom dance lessons.
Clark begins to see himself differently after his lessons. His wife, suspecting that he is having an affair, hires a pair of private detectives to follow him.
Though Clark is drawn to the dance teacher, it is more out of the passion for dancing than romance and he hopes that he can share this new part of himself with his wife.
Overall, the acting and dancing in the movie is superb with an especially fantastic performance by Lopez. However, off the dance floor, Lopez’s acting is dull. This is a movie that made me both laugh and cry.