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Year: 2004
USA: Miramax Films
UK: Buena Vista International UK
Cast: Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Bobby Cannavale, Mya Nick Cannon, Anita Gillette, Lisa Ann Walter, Omar Miller, Richard Jenkins, Onalee Ames, Sharon Bajer, Len Cariou, J D Crew, Tamara Hope, Kim Kindrick, Stan Lesk, Sean O'Brian, Melissa Panton, Diana Salvatore, Stark Sands, David Sparrow Denis Tremblay, Katya Virshilas, Deborah Yates
Director: Peter Chelsom
Country: USA
USA & UK: 106 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for some sexual references and brief language
UK Certificate: 12A contains one use of strong language
USA Release Date: 15 October 2004
UK Release Date: 18 February 2005


Chicago lawyer John Clark (Richard Gere) knows his life is almost perfect. He loves his beautiful wife (Susan Sarandon) and he's built a successful career and raised two wonderful kids. And yet, the workday is always the same routine, the commute is a grind and the family's usually too busy to spend time together. Sometimes John wonders if this is all there is, until one evening on his way home from work he gets off his train and does the unthinkable. Without telling a soul, he secretly begins taking dance lessons. Suddenly, John is thrust into a whole new world - of motion, music, camaraderie and passion. As this very serious man becomes literally light on his feet, his whole life, and marriage, transforms.

The uplifting and comic story of a man's renewal, SHALL WE DANCE? is inspired by the runaway Japanese hit of the same name. In this new version, starring Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci, the tale of a quiet workaholic finding wild rapture on the dance floor is transported to the American search for happiness.

It all begins when John Clark is riding the evening train, and spots out his window a young dance teacher (Jennifer Lopez) staring back at him from the run-down Miss Mitzi's Studio. Haunted by her gaze, John looks for her night after night. Finally, he gets off the train and signs up for the beginner's series of ballroom dance lessons. At his first class, John spends more time on the floor than gliding across it. Awkward and shy, it seems unlikely he'll ever find any grace at all. But soon, dance becomes John's obsession, his escape, his one means of pure joy. He's drawn further and further into this exotic realm, even discovering a fellow employee who's also hiding his ballroom dance habit (Stanley Tucci), while pretending to be a sports jock.

Yet John cannot seem to tell his wife Beverly about his newfound love out of fear that she'll think he's unfulfilled by their marriage. As he clandestinely prepares for Chicago's biggest dance competition, his secretive behavior causes Beverly to hire a detective, suspecting that John's having an affair. But John will soon discover that it isn't enough to chase his most private dreams - because the best part is sharing them.

SHALL WE DANCE? is directed by Peter Chelsom from a screenplay by Audrey Wells (UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN) based on the runaway Japanese hit that won fans around the world. In 1996, the original SHALL WE DANCE (DANSU WO SHIMASHO KA), written and directed by Masayuki Suo, won the hearts of Japanese audiences with its story about an ordinary, hard-working Japanese salary man who, overcome by the feeling that something's missing in his life and marriage, learns to ballroom dance on the sly. Soon, he has transformed from a wooden, melancholy recluse into someone touched by a sense of magic and possibility. Filled with comic characters and rousing dance sequences, the film touched a universal chord in anyone who had ever longed for something a little more. It went on to win an astonishing 13 Japanese Academy Awards, and travel the globe, becoming a hit with foreign film audiences across the United States and Europe.

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