7.7/10
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97 user 85 critic

Shall We Dance? (1996)

Shall we dansu? (original title)
PG | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 11 July 1997 (USA)
Trailer
1:21 | 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

Opening Weekend USA:

$88,106, 13 July 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,676,677, 23 January 1998
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

The title is written in English as "Shall We Dansu" since in its original Japanese release, the first two words actual appear in English with only the last word appearing in katakana (one of three Japanese writing systems). The Japanese word for "dance" is pronounced "dansu". See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

Different prologue: In the beginning of the Japanese version, a voice-over introduces the history and meaning of ballroom dancing in European culture and explains "enjoyed by people of all ages, it is a healthy diversion". The prologue of the US release explains the reserved mannerisms of Japanese culture and that ballroom dancing is considered something like a scandalous pasttime there. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) 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

 
A pleasing experience
11 October 2004 | by Ob_zSee all my reviews

I was so surprised when I saw this film so much underrated... I understand why some of you dislike this movie. Its pace is slow, a characteristic of Japanese films. Nevertheless, if you are absorbed in the film like me, you will find this not a problem at all.

I must say this is the best comedy I have ever seen. "Shall We Dansu?" is often considered a masterpiece of Japanese comedies. It is very different from Hollywood ones, e.g. Austin Powers or Scary Movies, in which a gag is guaranteed in every couple of minutes. Rather, it is light-hearted, a movie that makes you feel good.

I love the movie because it makes me feel "real". The plot is straightforward yet pleasing. I was so delighted seeing that Sugiyama (the main role) has found the meaning of life in dancing. Before I watched the film I was slightly depressed due to heavy schoolwork. I felt lost. However, this film made me think of the bright side of life. I believed I was in the same boat of Sugiyama; if he could find himself in his hobby, why couldn't I? It reminded me of "exploring my own future" and discovering the happiness in my daily life.

It is important to note that the actors are not professional dancers. While some of you may find the dancing scenes not as perfect as you expect, I kinda like it as it makes me feel that the characters are really "alive", learning to dance as the film goes on.

Over all, this film is encouraging and heart-warming. As a comedy, it does its job perfectly. It definitely deserves 10 stars.

And yes Aoki is funny :-D


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