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Shall We Dance?

Director/Writer: Masayuki Suo
Director of Photography:Naoki Kayano
Editor:Junnichi Kikuchi
Music:Yoshikazu Suo
Production Designer:Kyoko Heya
Producers:Shoji Masui and Yasuyoshi Tokuma
Miramax; PG-13; 122 minutes
Release:7/97
Cast:Koji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka, Eriko Watanabe, Akira Emoto, Masahiro Motoki and Misa Shimizu

It's a shame Shall We Dance? will only hit a couple dozen arthouses across the country. It deserves a run in the multiplexes as an alternative to Men in Black. This finely wrought romantic comedy (that knows exactly when to pull on the heartstrings) works surprisingly well, especially given the topic: ballroom dancing in Japan. Japanese salaryman Shohei (Yakusyo) should be content with his life — he has a good job, a nice house, a loving family — but he's miserable and feels as if something's missing. When he spies dance teacher Mai (Kusakari) through a window, he knows what he needs. He signs up for ballroom dancing lessons to be near her. Though the hobby carries the scent of scandal in Japan, dance fills the void in his life. Get ready to rumba.


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