Shall We Dance? Movie Review Summary

Actors: Koji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Shall We Dance?

Shohei Sugiyama (Yakusho) is an overworked accounting executive who has achieved his dreams -- lovely wife, nice teenage daughter, just purchased a good house -- yet remains unaccountably unfulfilled and depressed. One day he spies a beautiful young woman looking sadly out of an upper-story window from his commuter train and, captivated, he investigates. Turns out she's a competitive ballroom dancer, so he signs up for classes to get closer to her but finds himself assigned to lessons with a plump middle-aged woman. He gets to know the mysterious and beautiful Mai (Kusakari) anyway, who is upset because she's broken up with her long-time dance partner. The illicitness in this sweet movie centers not on sex but on ballroom dancing, a suspect form of sport and intimacy in Japan, and is also the source of its considerable humor. (Naoto Takenoka plays Mr. Aoki, a clownish coworker of our hero who also turns up in the class.) Romantic, classy, but with occasional shocks of low comedy, this 1996 Japanese film is both an emulation of and a tribute to the spirit of Astaire and Rogers.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

In a film taking its title (and most of its music) from an Astaire-Rogers film of the same name, a married Japanese businessman becomes fascinated with a young dancing school instructor he sees daily from his commuter train. Although he's married, and it's considered unmanly for Japanese men to ballroom dance, his curiosity overcomes his fear. Although he's romantically drawn to her, he realizes its her art he loves and that his wife is first in his life, but still goes on to win the ballroom championship with her, risking the criticism of his business associates.   
The review of this Movie prepared by Richard Centner

Script Analysis of Shall We Dance?

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Romance/Love/Hugging    -   Yes Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   dancer Ethnic/Regional/Gender story?    -   Yes Ethnic/region/relig    -   Japanese Married, fooling around?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   business executive Age:    -   20's-30's    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Japanese


Asia/Pacific/Middle East    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Japan City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   None If lots of song/dance...    -   lot of dancing

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