The other day Judy and I were going to the movies. I had decided that we’d see Team America: World Police. Judy had decided that we’d attend Shall We Dance?.
So, you’re probably asking, how did you like Shall We Dance? It was OK. I’ve seen it reviewed (in the Houston Chronicle, for instance) as a “chick flick,” but it’s not. It’s a “male mid-life crisis” flick, with Richard Gere having the crisis.
Gere, you see, is a lawyer. He writes wills all day and makes plenty of dough. He’s married to Susan Sarandon (!), and he has a teenage daughter who doesn’t think he’s a complete doofus. And yet . . . there’s something missing. He knows he should be unreasonably happy, but he’s not. He feels somehow incomplete, filled with vague longings. He doesn’t know what he needs, or what he’s longing for, but every day as he rides the el-train home, he looks up at Miss Mitzi’s dance studio, where there’s often someone standing in the window looking down at the train. So Gere decides that what he needs is . . . Geritol. Ha ha. Just kidding. What he decides he needs is . . . is . . . Jennifer Lopez.
Well, who among us can blame him? After all, she glows in that window like a religious icon, and, as it turns out, she’s a dancing fool. It’s only when she’s called upon to deliver dialogue that the fantasy takes a serious hit. Maybe that’s why, by the end of the movie, [SPOILER ALERT!] Gere has decided that he what he needs really isn’t J Lo after all. Or maybe it’s because he takes a second look at Susan Sarandon. What he really needs is . . . ballroom dancing! Except that it seems that he might have given it up at the end, which wouldn't be good, so I plan to disregard that implication. I prefer to think that the movie ends with Gere happy and complete and light on his feet. [ END OF SPOILER ALERT!]
This is a nice little movie. It has some laughs, it has a uniformly good cast. Gere is rumpled and relaxed and seems to be having a fine time. Sarandon doesn’t have much of a part, but she’s gorgeous. Among the supporting players, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Mya, and Anita Gillette rate special mention. This movie may not give you complete happiness, but it will most likely make you smile and feel good for a little while.
I’ll bet it’s no Team America, though.