7.7/10
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100 user 86 critic

Shall We Dance? (1996)

Shall we dansu? (original title)
PG | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 11 July 1997 (USA)
Trailer
1:22 | Trailer

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A successful but unhappy Japanese accountant finds the missing passion in his life when he begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons.

Director:

Masayuki Suo

Writer:

Masayuki Suo
55 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kôji Yakusho ... Shohei Sugiyama (as Koji Yakusho)
Tamiyo Kusakari Tamiyo Kusakari ... Mai Kishikawa
Naoto Takenaka ... Tomio Aoki
Eri Watanabe Eri Watanabe ... Toyoko Takahashi (as Eriko Watanabe)
Yu Tokui Yu Tokui ... Tokichi Hattori
Hiromasa Taguchi Hiromasa Taguchi ... Masahiro Tanaka
Reiko Kusamura Reiko Kusamura ... Tamako Tamura (as Raiko Kusamura)
Hideko Hara Hideko Hara ... Masako Sugiyama
Hiroshi Miyasaka Hiroshi Miyasaka ... Macho
Kunihiko Ida Kunihiko Ida ... Teiji Kaneko
Amie Toujou Amie Toujou ... Hisako Honda
Ayano Nakamura Ayano Nakamura ... Chikage Sugiyama
Katsunari Mineno Katsunari Mineno ... Keiri-kachô
Tomiko Ishii Tomiko Ishii ... Haruko Haraguchi
Maki Kawamura Maki Kawamura ... Eiko Miyoshi
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Storyline

Shohei Sugiyama has attained all that he has wanted in life. But he is still depressed and unhappy. One day, he gathers up the courage to sign up for dancing lessons. He hopes they will rid his depression and help him get his life back together. Written by Robert Krzanowski <stonedpsycho@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's an overworked accountant. She's an accomplished dancer. Passion is about to find two unlikely partners.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

11 July 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shall We Dance? See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$9,499,091

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,499,091
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (USA) (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the first scene, a man's shoe in close-up plunges into a black pool in the street. This symbolizes the world renowned Ballroom Dancing Competition in Blackpool, England, referenced later in the film. See more »

Quotes

Tamako Tamura: Dance is more than the steps. Feel the music and dance for sheer joy.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Original Japanese version (pre-Miramax) runs 136 minutes and is available on Hong Kong laseridisc with English and Chinese subtitles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 500 Days of Summer (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Save the Last Dance for Me
Written by Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus
Performed by The Drifters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ordinary yet extraordinary. Simply beautiful.
5 October 2004 | by ms_jade_liSee all my reviews

Watched this last night and was bowled over by the heartfelt story line, the excellent character development, and the good karmic vibe emanating from the acting and movie as a whole.

Without giving away too much of the plot, it begins with an ordinary joe who commutes to his office job every day who becomes inspired to take dance lessons. Along the way the protagonist and the assorted characters he meets in his quest to be smooth on the dance floor learn lessons about others and about themselves.

The story has a prologue about what dancing in Japan symbolizes sociologically, so it isn't exactly as simple to learn to dance in Japan as it is here in the U.S.

The film is lighthearted; you'll laugh out loud at some of the sight gags. Yet it is also dignified in a way hard to describe. All of the film's characters are taken seriously, as they are, and none are diminished because of their "imperfections."

I've been thinking about taking social dance classes with some friends. It just so happened a friend lent me the video on learning to dance. Is this synchronous or what? I think so because now I'm really geeked to give it a try.

Watch this wonderful family film (small children might not get it, but teens certainly would) and smile at the genuine caring you see shown in it time and again.

Why they would make a remake of Shall We Dance is a mystery, as it is perfect as-is.


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