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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Movie: Shall We Dance?

Posted on Thu, Oct 14, 2004 at 4:00 AM

***
Our Rating: 3.00

Where others have failed, director Peter Chelsom has finally found out how to make Jennifer Lopez useful. Here, she's a smoldering found object of desire who catches the eye of a world-weary estate attorney (Richard Gere). On a whim, John (Gere) drops into the tatty dance studio where Paulina (Lopez) teaches and ends up absolutely taken with – hold onto your suspension of disbelief – ballroom dancing. Soon, he's so fixated on all things terpsichorean that he's making with the Gene Kelly moves on the subway platform. His wife (Susan Sarandon) worries that he's strayed, but John, he's only dancing, with Paulina as his (seldom speaking) hottie muse. Director Chelsom never neglects his moneymaker, draping Lopez in a sheer dress during a sweaty electric tango that might as well have been credited, "Filmed in incredible Booty-Vision!" Dance runs the constant risk of dissolving into extreme silliness, but its continuous small-change pleasures and general sweetness grow in aggregate. The result is charmingly feckless and unsullied by extraneous ambition.

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