Remade as: Shall We Dance?
In Shall We Dance?, Sugiyama is a bland accountant, but his wife hires a detective to shadow him because she suspects he’s having an affair. In fact, he’s doing something that traditional Japanese culture considers even more humiliating: he’s taking Western ballroom dance lessons. He and his fellow misfit classmates begin to blossom and find a sense of belonging as they learn to waltz and foxtrot.
Masayuki Suo’s sweet and gentle comedy proves a wry satire on rigid Japanese social roles. (Even the detective becomes a ballroom buff.) Removed from that social context, the American remake (starring Richard Gere as the secret dancer, Susan Sarandon as his wife, and Jennifer Lopez as the dance instructor with dreams of her own) doesn’t make much sense, though it does feature some talented actor-dancers.
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