Monday, January 22, 2024

2K Replay: SHALL WE DANCE? (2004)

 by Adam Riske

Nominated for “Best Original Song” (“The Book of Love”) at the Golden Satellite Awards. It lost to “Million Voices” from Hotel Rwanda.

• Best Scene/Moment: Any scene between Susan Sarandon and Richard Jenkins.

• Best Song: “Livin’ It Up” by Ja Rule featuring Case.
• Best Merch: A “Shall We Dance 2004 Richard Gere John Clark and red rose on escalator Photo” for between $12.98 and $15.98 depending on the size. I’m fascinated by this because the “5” x “7” photo is out of stock and the other sizes (going up to “11” x “17”) all have 2 available and 5 sold. Who is buying these? I must admit that the photo is pretty dope. Imagine you’re Richard Gere in a tux, holding a red rose and riding up an escalator. You must know at that point you’re bound to break some hearts when you get to that upper level. Not a lot of actors could pull this off, but Richard can with his “I’m Just Gere” energy.

• Director Grade: Shall We Dance? (2004) was directed by Peter Chelsom. I haven’t seen most of his movies, but I might one day see some of them (Funny Bones, The Mighty, and Town & Country) and some I know I’ll never see like Hannah Montana: The Movie and The Space Between Us. Shall We Dance? (2004) was my first Chelsom and my favorite to date. The only other movie of his I’ve seen is Serendipity, which is one of the most frustrating romantic comedies in recent memory but that has more to do with the screenplay than the direction. To his credit, it seems like he’s good with actors. This one’s tough to grade so I’ll judge this mainly on the two movies I’ve seen. Overall Grade: C+

• Double It with This 2004 Movie: Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
• Year 2004 Movies to Trailer Before It: Alfie, Jersey Girl, You Got Served

Color of Night or Shall We Dance? (2004): Color of Night

• Mall Movie? No. This would play at the fancy theater in town but might eventually make it to theaters in malls that also have a ballroom dance studio because synergy.

• Only in 2004: A movie having the credits “With Ja Rule And Nick Cannon”

• Scene Stealer: Richard Jenkins

• I Miss: Richard Gere star vehicles

• I Don’t Miss: Harvey Weinstein

• 2004 Crush (tie): Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon

• 2024 Crush (tie): Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon
• What I Thought in 2004: I was a big fan of the original Japanese Shall We Dance? (1996). It was a discovery from my days working at Blockbuster Video. I was nervous about a new version although cautiously optimistic based on the cast. I remember being charmed by the remake when I saw it in 2004 although I didn’t think it was anywhere near as good as the original.

• What I Think in 2024: Shall We Dance? (2004) is still cute and pleasant. It helped that I hadn’t seen the original Shall We Dance? in a while when I revisited the remake, so I wasn’t comparing the two. On its own, the remake works well enough because the cast (especially Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarandon, Richard Jenkins) are committed and having fun. The movie made me want to get back into ballroom dancing for 2 hours (which is something I haven’t done since college) so that’s proof enough the movie still works.

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