Shall We Dance?

Masayuki Suo's Japanese comedy Shall We Dance? (1996) charmed American audiences with its story of a buttoned-down accountant who finds new joy in life through ballroom dancing. This faithful remake by Miramax, the original movie's U.S. distributor, manages to transplant the action to Chicago without completely ruining it, though the emotional impact is largely deflated by the change in cultures. A severely miscast Richard Gere signs up for dance lessons after spying a beautiful instructor (Jennifer Lopez) out the window of his el car, but instead of an affair he winds up with a new circle of offbeat friends, including Stanley Tucci as a balding fellow accountant who disguises himself with wigs and outrageous flamenco getups. Peter Chelsom (Serendipity, Town & Country) directed; with Susan Sarandon. PG-13, 106 min.

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