Shall We Dance? (12A)
Time Out saysUnless you thought Richard Gere was the best thing in ‘Chicago’, tread carefully with this comedy drama in which he plays John, a middle-aged man who secretly attends dance lessons. Gere’s monotone performance means we can only guess at the reason for his character’s subterfuge: presumably a combination of manly embarrassment and a fascination with dance teacher Paulina (played by Jennifer Lopez, who proves as insipid as both Gere and plot).
Much like a time-passing TV movie, ‘Shall We Dance’ offers attractive, inoffensive characters and a smattering of broad laughs, but it fails to use its potential to explore weightier themes such as John’s mid-life crisis. In the opening narration, he briefly articulates his sense of ennui, but it’s not effectively communicated in either Gere’s performance or the ensuing narrative. And while Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci offer glimmers of hope as John’s wife and friend, much of their spark is reined in by the superficial script that’s as bland as the perplexingly successful Japanese film on which it’s based.
Fri Feb 18, 2005