Film Review of Shall We Dance?
John (Richard Gere) and Beverly (Susan Sarandon) Clark are comfortably married. They have two children, and he a good job as a lawyer. Yet, he is not happy'. He fills the void in his life by impulsively shooting out of his commuter train seat up the stairs of Miss Mitzi's Dance School after being captivated by Paulina (Jennifer Lopez) gazing out of the school window. A clumsy, shy, reluctant dancer at first, he taps a hidden side to his personality and blossoms into an accomplished ballroom dancer. All very well, except none of his family is aware of this chrysalis bursting open in this way.
In roughly one hour and forty-five minutes, the film turns all expectations and predictability on their respective heads. With all the action building up towards the climactic Chicago Tattinger Trophy who could blame you for expecting a neatly wrapped package at that point: Clark rewarded for his accomplishment, all revealed and settled? But - it is its aftermath that has much to say. Yes, there is dance as the mating ritual. Bobbie (Lisa Ann Walter), earthy, vivacious, loud, generous-hearted, is disappointed at Clark's treatment of Rumba, "the dance of love". Paulina with her smouldering, controlled, Latino (stereotypical?) passion sets him straight. Yes, there is the hinted sexual attraction, even tension. But -