Shall We Dance?

Rated 4.0 An overworked accountant (Richard Gere) decides on an impulse to take ballroom dancing lessons—mainly because he’s fascinated by one of the instructors (Jennifer Lopez). This Americanized adaptation of the 1996 Japanese hit actually manages to improve on the original, thanks mainly to Audrey Wells’ witty, literate screenplay. Wells enhances the role of the hero’s wife (Susan Sarandon) with several good scenes (plus one knockout speech about the meaning of marriage) and adds a couple of nice characters for Richard Jenkins, as a rough-edged private eye, and Oscar-worthy Lisa Ann Walter, as another dance instructor. Some lackluster choreography in the dance scenes is the only drawback; otherwise, the fine cast (including Stanley Tucci as a preening dork) shines under Peter Chelsom’s smooth direction.