John Clark (Richard Gere) is the centerpiece of a contented suburban family. He has a good job, a loving wife ( Susan Sarandon as Bev), an affectionate daughter, and a good house. Itís the suburban landscape of many dreams, though Johnís dreams of late have wandered off the flagstone path.
The dutiful lawyer has an air of melancholy.
Itís the old story: whereís
the excitement? As he rides the commuter train, Johnís eye is caught by a
dark-haired beauty (Jennifer Lopez as Paulina) standing in the upstairs window
of Miss Mitziís Ballroom Dance Studio. After
a few evening sightings, John gets off the train and enrolls.
The fact that we are mercifully spared an affair between John and Paulina
opens up the movie for a sweeter subject: what
to do when a marriage loses its edge. After
years of trying to like the same people, places, and things, marriage can fray a
bit. This movie, in the absence of
the usual affair, is a nice push between the shoulders to find something of our
own to be excited about.
Initially John is drawn to Paulina, but, encouraged by Miss Mitzi (Anita
Gillette), he becomes one of three new students who become comic foils for the
dour lawyer. Vern (Omar Benson Miller) is trying to slim down for his
fiancť; Chic (Bobby Cannavale) is looking for dames; The downside here is that
the story is predictable, and the writers have gone for cute laced with
slapstick. Eight years ago, the
Japanese made this same movie, written by them as the tender story of a Japanese
businessman who had to break through the societal rules that forbade him to
dance. It was a far more subtle
film, though not necessarily a more engaging one. This movie is done in the American extravaganza style as
opposed to instinctive Japanese restraint.
The actors save the film. ď
No fights, no arguments in this disparate group.
After a few misunderstandings, everyone jumps into the cheerleading
section, for the guys who are out there on the floor and for John and his
unlikely partner Bobbie, the Bobinator, (Lisa Ann Walter) who together put a big
exclamation mark after the thought that two people can share a passion without
sharing one for each other.
Copyright (c) Illusion
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