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
by DAVID KEYES
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.
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
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.
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."
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."
would have liked it a little more with that title. After
all, it indeed reflects my first reactions.
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.