4 November 2004 | harry_tk_yung
Passing grade remake
I should start by admitting that it was quite a while ago (New Years Day 1997, to be exact) that I watched the Japanese original, 'Shall We Dansu' (which, incidentally, IS THE ORIGINAL; the Astaire/Rogers 1937 flick, which happens to have the same name, IS NOT). However, although I don't remember every single detail, the essential feelings as well as some of the vivid images still seem fresh in my mind, particularly the glittering performance of Koji Yakusyo and Tamiyo Kusakari.
The Hollywood remake, while not as good as the Japanese original, is at least passing grade, in capturing the essence of the film, 'a man seeking not so much a woman as an answer to his question. Why is she sad? What is she thinking' (Ebert, on 'Shall We Dansu', NOT 'Shall We Dance'), as well as everybody's passion for ballroom dancing.
Richard Gere continues to exude his charm on the female audience. Jennifer Lopez, following Maid in Manhattan, continues to get more comfortable with more matured roles. Oscar best actress (and 5 times nominee) Susan Sarandon is dependable as ever. I'm trying very hard to think of a movie in which I can't find Stanley Tucci and
darn it, the more I watch the guy, the more I like him!