Dance With Me
Rating -

Dance (US); 1998; Rated PG; 126 Minutes

Vanessa Williams: Ruby Sinclair
Chayanne: Rafael Infante
Kris Kristofferson: John Burnett
Joan Plowright: Bea Johnson
Jane Krakowski: Patricia
Beth Grant: Lovejoy

Produced by Shinya Egawa, Randa Haines, Aldric La’Auli Porter, Lauren Weissman, Allan Wertheim and Ted Zachary; Directed by Randa Haines; Screenwritten by Daryl Matthews

Review Uploaded

Written by DAVID KEYES

Will someone please get rid of this genre of dance films? It's not just because the new one, "Dance With Me," is routine, but because when the genre produces a new movie every other year or so, they are always bad. It's been over twenty years since a decent one has showed up.

"Dance With Me" offers no clues or hopes that the genre could recover or improve. Ever since "Staying Alive" and "Dirty Dancing," we have been forced to witness the genre crumble from underneath our feet, and it's been an extremely slow deterioration. Twenty years it has been breaking apart, and it continues even today.

The new film in the genre, "Dance With Me," is somewhat more watchable than the other dance pictures of the last twenty years, but that's no praise, because the movie still isn't that good. It has weak characters, weak story, but great music--just like the other recent dance films. Roger Ebert calls them "walkmans for the eyes," and I have yet to see words that fit the bill as well as those. All you care about in these movies is the music--nothing else. Sometimes we want more than just the music, and sometimes we just want everyone to shut up and dance, since this IS the dance genre. In "Dance With Me," I wanted Vanessa Williams and Chayanne to shut up and dance, because the dialogue and characterizations they are teamed up with do not match their real life characteristics nor their artistic acting talent. The only thing they are good at is the dancing, and that's all we care about here.

Yes, this can be a good thing for dance movies, but still, there can be so much more than just music and dance in them. We could have interesting and entertaining characters, stories, and dialogue, all while still having an aspect of dance to intensify its flavor. There has been none of that in the dancing genre of films, other than in two exceptions, "Saturday Night Fever" and "Flashdance."

After walking away from "Dance With Me" with a feeling of disappointment splashed across my face, I did some extensive research on the film and its creators. I learned that while in pre-production, the title of the film was "Shut Up And Dance."

I would have liked it a little more with that title. After all, it indeed reflects my first reactions.

© 1998, David Keyes, Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
All published materials contained herein are owned by their respective authors and cannot be reprinted, either in their entirety or in selection, without the expressed written consent of the writers.

© 2007