ReviewWriter: Nurliana Kamaruddin
Writer Ratings:Overall: Cast:
NAWatch this if you liked:
At some point of your life, you might wake up in the morning and wonder if your life has become a monotone existence that lacks the fire and excitement we all wish we had. First of all, this story is for the romantic. All you cynics out there - trust me, don't bother. Please
don't bother. You'll leave the cinema wishing you spent the money on food or something else. Instead, if you're like me who doesn't mind a sappy love movie now and then, this is a good movie to go to.
The storyline is as predictable as you can get. Bored lawyer John Clark spends his days writing wills for people. Every day he does the same thing and though he thinks he has a good life, to a certain extent, John is looking for something more. One day on the train going home, he sees a beautiful lady standing at the window of a dance school, and from that day forth, he sees her at that same window everyday.
Intrigued, John one day makes the sudden decision to get off the train and meet this mysterious woman. Walking into the dance school, he signs himself up for beginners' lesson in ballroom dancing. Alongside two other guys, John was suddenly introduced to a whole exciting new world of glitz, colour and fancy footwork. Keeping quite faithfully to the original Japanese version of the movie, though lacking in the charm and depth that the original had, "Shall We Dance" is a light-hearted movie that doesn't try to prove anything but rather, seeks to entertain.
Richard Gere slips quite well into the role of John Clark. Watching him playing the awkward middle-aged man at his first dance lesson in that sensuous sepia-toned dance scene in the darkness of the studio with Jennifer Lopez, I think he did justice to the character. Susan Sarandon who plays John Clark's wife, Beverly, had some of the best lines in the movie and she delivered them well. I especially loved the part when Beverly told her private detective exactly why she thinks people get married.
"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet I mean, what does anyone's life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane thingsall of it, all of the time, everyday. You're saying that your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness."
Now THAT is the kind of line I wish someone I love would say to me.
Yes, this movie is not as good as Fred Astaire's and Ginger Rogers' "Shall We Dance" back in 1937 and yes, the characters were all rather one-dimensional, but throughout the movie, there were still many entertaining moments. The dancing sequences were splendidly done as well. So even if this movie doesn't suddenly ignite a longing in you to sign up for dance lessons, it will surely make you think about it. Now if only I can figure out whether Jennifer Lopez was trying to look sensual in the movie or was she just stoned...Cinema Online, 23 September 2008