Shall We Dance? Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: A middle-aged workaholic's incredibly dull life takes a funny turn when he signs up for a ballroom dance class -- just to meet the sexy dance teacher. But when he finally muscles up the nerve for lessons he winds up with a different instructor and her colorfully eccentric class of beginners! And now he'll have to step lightly -- and do some fancy footwork -- if he expects to keep his new secret passion from his family and friends! (Miramax) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. But the movie has a great deal of zest and charm, and Yakusho gets so exactly that crest of melancholy that is a man’s early 40s, until he decides to go for another kind of life, that the movie is infinitely touching.
  2. Even when the catharsis we yearn for arrives, it's tinged with restraint. But then, the true romance in Shall We Dance? is more than personal. It's the spectacle of a nation learning to dance with itself.
  3. 80
    While the characters, situations, and gags are all familiar, Shall We Dance?'s gentle humanity and quiet exuberance are contagious.
  4. A charming and moving film about a slightly racy subculture in a highly rule-bound society.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    The film has such a weakness for the easy incongruity (short men dancing with tall women--isn't that hilarious?) that it could almost be Australian. But Shall We Dance? also has an emotional gravity; it is grounded in a middle-aged man's nagging belief that he has one last chance to grab at life. [16 June 1997, p.76]
  6. Reviewed by: Sarah Kerr
    It's alert to its characters' constantly evolving desires in ways that high- and low-culture movies, with their strict aesthetics or their mass-market formulas, tend not to be.
  7. Its paper-thin characters turned into caricatures by egregious hamming, this 1996 Japanese comedy-drama about shy ballroom dancers is sentimental goo and downright interminable.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. RayW.
    Jan 16, 2006
    A perfect film. I give it an 11. I'm a guy, and this is as close to liking a "chick-flick" as I have ever gotten. This is the most charming film I've ever seen. It is so removed from the ususal Hollywood style obsessed with nauseating two-cent lines and looking "baad" or sickeningly sentimental trifle. "Shall We Danse" offers a small peak into the rigidity of Japanese society telling a simple and heartwarming tale devoid of overt sexual themes or even full blown romance. A great ambassador for Asian drama. Collapse

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