Dance with Me (1998)
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I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a mix of light drama and dancing.
The only thing that i could picture wrong with the film was not enough dancing, but i tell you, when the dance scenes hit the screen they REALLY hit it :). The great choreography, and great music, couldn't stop smiling.
Some low points of the film was with father son chats, which just seem like they were there to fill in time.
The cast was a great choice. Chayanne (Latin singer) who moves are unique and fun and that makes u smile. And Vanessa L. Williams, was trained to the extent of a real ballroom champion.
With all of this it included comedy, many funny lines which make it memorable, and a lasting feeling that will make you want to take up salsa dancing :)
If you enjoy this movie, rent out dirty dancing havana nights, forbidden dance lambada, salsa motion picture (oldie but a goodie)
Chayanne, the new Latin sensation, was absolutely wonderful. He fills the screen with such charm and charisma......he steals the movie! Vanessa Williams was exciting and beautiful. Both Chayanne and Vanessa made the most electrifying couple! The rest of the cast added just the right touch to complete this ensemble. The dancing and music was well worth just seeing the movie!
So the plot isn't much. Who watches musicals just for the plot? And actually, I liked how they handled certain aspects, like the dance competition and how Chayanne and Williams resolve their feelings for one another without even dancing together. The only real criticism I have is the movie is a little too long, but that's only a quibble.
This movie gives me the same feeling. Why was it not a similar hit?
I've watched it scores of times. Chayanne and Vanessa Williams have credible chemistry on-screen and the plot, although kind of standard, is interesting enough to carry the action.
In particular, I always come back to this movie to watch the dancing. It is simply spectacular. The scene where Chayanne and Vanessa Williams' characters reach a kind of truce because they love to dance and like each other - so they go on a second date - is simply amazing. They arrive at the nightclub where they had a failed first date and the crowd parts to let them in to a kind of Latin musical dance fest where the music doesn't seem to stop long enough for anyone to sit down and catch a breath. They are immediately caught up in the swirl and almost as soon, they part and go off in different directions, passing each other, picking up different partners and having a wonderful time to the fantastic music. The scene is not about them, it's about the crowd and the sheer joy of dancing to Latin music - which in this case is not sultry and sensuous one-to-one dancing but an all-out bacchanalia of multiple partners and a pounding beat. Wonderful, wonderful!
Everything about this film feels so natural and relaxed. It's like a breath of fresh air. It's not fair to compare it to 'Strictly Ballroom' directed by Baz Luhrmann. I love his movies but I appreciate them for being grand operatic extravaganzas. 'Strictly Ballroom' was certainly that.
'Dance with Me' will always be one of my favorite movies and now I've got a crush on Chayanne that just won't quit.
If you were from Cuba and you reached out with your heart, soul and mind, to recall those special places, you too would feel the loneliness for what you left behind. Have you ever heard, "Oh my, it's good to be home!" Venessa and Chayanne were electrifying! When they danced, the music, and their quiet passion, the heat in there looks and touch seemed unbelievably real! As for all the other dancers, they made a celebration of it and all had fun.
The music makes you want to dance in your seat. The last dance scene should have deeply touched all. Although dancing with some one, in her being Vanessa was dancing with Chayanne. Freedom to be creative was an understatement, it shined through. What a pleasant surprise and joy to see Joan Plowright and Chayanne do their dance scene, terrific touch to the movie.
I applaud the entire staff, crew, actors and Director for giving me the pleasure of this movie! I consider it a classic, a favorite, and trend setter! Back then you did not know the impact of your work today. To all of you, thank you! Sincerely, Juan Ramon Clar
Although the focus of the movie is simply to celebrate the joy of dance itself, three parallel plots are introduced that give the story cohesiveness, as well as somewhere to go. A young Cuban man (Chayanne) travels to Texas to meet the father he has never known (Kris Kristofferson), who runs a dance studio, and romances one of the teachers who works at the studio (Vanessa Williams), while everyone at the studio prepares for a dance competition in Vegas.
These three elements are mixed well, thanks to a fine ensemble cast. Chayanne has a boyish, friendly charm that is immediately disarming. Williams and Kristofferson, two actors I've never been particularly fond of, turn in great performances and won me over as a new fan. They have splendid screen chemistry with Chayanne, and the multiple plots are developed well because of this. The supporting cast have their share of great moments too, and provide plenty of comic relief.
The wide variety of music and dance styles throughout the movie are utilized well. Look for excellent choreography, particularly in the nightclub sequence where Williams gets spun, turned, and whirled by about a hundred other dancers. The dance competition finale is staged brilliantly, showing everything from ballet to sizzling salsa in an exhilarating fashion.
Overall, an enjoyable movie, in the spirit of the old MGM musicals, where the only thing that's important is to have some pleasant, escapist fun.
We have VASTLY underrated the talent of this woman and Hollywood should hang its head in shame for that.
Hollywood adapted actress rankings quickly when required to do so in the past. Sally Field went from Gidget/Flying Nun to Daughter of Stanislavski in "Sybil" overnight. Vanessa's triumph is dropping critical jaws with similarly astounded gasps:
"At last a vehicle for her PRODIGIOUS TALENT. The teaming of Chayanne and Vanessa is like a double dose of Viagra!" ------------- Time Magazine
Behind the same buzz that catapulted Jessica Lange from kitsch "Kong" to "Frances" glitters Vanessa William's similarly elevated dust in "DANCE WITH ME". She's broken through to become the Dorothy Dandridge of our generation.
Williams says she's used to proving herself with each new project:
``That's the luxury of having people doubt you, everything surprises them."
Do not pay attention to the movie critics if you like romance, dance movies, great choreography, likable characters and memorable music. I own the DVD, movie soundtrack and am a member of the Chayanne fan club oh, and Vanessa's too ;-)
The dancing and music are of course very good. To see Chayanne do his stuff is like magic. He shows you how the music leads him. But even the dialogs are so great, people somehow tend to miss that. A real pity. It could be better no doubt, but it certainly isn't a bad movie. So why the ridiculously low rating.