Shall We Dance 2004

Critics score:
46 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Asks us to return to the days of yesteryear, when we would accept Cary Grant as a country bumpkin and Marilyn Monroe as an ugly duckling. These days, that's asking too much. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Goes too far in its slapstick efforts to please mainstream audiences, but there's no denying the genuine appeal of -- and I can't believe I'm actually writing this -- Richard Gere and ballroom dancing. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: The movie tries hard to duplicate the original's mood and story, but, like Gere or Lopez, is too much of a visual knockout to rope us in. Read more

Brangien Davis, Seattle Times: This mildly entertaining bauble will disappear from your memory even before you've dislodged the last popcorn husks from your back teeth. Read more

Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle: Where the original soared, the new version hugs the ground. It's like the difference between Fred Astaire's dancing and Richard Gere's. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: Terrible film, terrible film. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Shall We Dance isn't half the movie its predecessor is, but it succeeds on its own terms. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: Largely forgettable because the central love story, between a married couple played by Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon, has nary a spark. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Gere is a pleasure, smiling and spinning and high-fiving his two classmates -- played by Bobby Cannavale and Omar Miller -- and the movie is happy and extremely likable. Read more

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times: A sleek Hollywood crowd-pleaser, more movie than art film, but its makers have wisely stuck not only to the spirit but often even to the letter of the original. Read more

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle: A funny, well-acted adult tale about the difficulty of holding onto happiness. Read more

Paul Clinton (, Its missteps turn the delicate footwork of the original into a clunky thud. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Feels engineered the way women's magazines too often do: to deliver the feel-good without burdening us with too much feeling or thought. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: A movie that can't decide whether to frown or twirl. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: A polished, feel-good movie that will be most appreciated by those who went back for second helpings of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: An unwieldy mess that gives every impression of having been made under a mandate to fill the Miramax crowd-pleaser slot. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: This version of Shall We Dance? tosses circumspection out of the window, milking every ounce of sentimentality, pathos and thrift-shop idiosyncrasy from the story line. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: A pleasant, uncomplicated, adult night out -- an event nearly as rare as a new romantic Hollywood musical. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: A comedy with two left feet. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Under the clunky direction of Peter Chelsom, while forced to mouth inane dialogue by Audrey Wells ... a swell bunch of troupers get mangled in a monsoon of cliches. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: Shall We Dance?, an Americanization of a popular 1996 Japanese film, is an old-fashioned feel-good fantasy that piles on the euphoria. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: The central idea -- that losing yourself in a small, private world can help you to better engage the larger world -- isn't lost in translation. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The entire feature feels poorly motivated and low on energy. There's clearly something missing. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Conventional as it may be, Shall We Dance? offers genuine delights. Read more

Charles Taylor, There are so many appealing performers in Shall We Dance? that it's a crime the director, Peter Chelsom, and the screenwriter, Audrey Wells, haven't given them more to do. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The filmmakers aren't afraid to lay on the schmaltz, especially at the end, but it never gets so heavy that Shall We Dance? doesn't step lively. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Sayonara sushi, hello turkey. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The original remains the standard, and it's a far deeper work, but this paint-by-numbers project manages to get by on its good humour and undeniably entertaining ensemble cast. Read more

Amy Simmons, Time Out: Offers attractive, inoffensive characters and a smattering of broad laughs, but it fails to use its potential to explore weightier themes such as John's mid-life crisis. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Turns a sweet, lilting story into a clunky, cliched and tedious movie sitcom. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: It's shamelessly direct in its emotional targeting, but in a gentle, inoffensive way that will appeal to viewers who prefer the old storytelling formulas to the more sensationalistic contemporary approach. Read more

David Ng, Village Voice: Exemplifies its distributor at its most blatantly opportunistic -- plundering the recycling bin for a no-brainer cash-in. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: Takes a small, exquisite Japanese movie and turns it into a big, stupid American movie. Still, it must be said that as glossy and overproduced as the thing is, it's a good Big Stupid American movie. Read more

Jen Chaney, Washington Post: Occasionally charming but ultimately forgettable bit of fox-trot fluff. Read more