So you have the couch and remote control to yourself this weekend…. here are some great dance flicks that will surely lift your spirits. Dancing has that effect on people no matter what, it’s very difficult to not be in good spirits when you’re grooving to a favorite tune. Below is a list of 6 great dance movies in no particular order. I hope you enjoy…
Dirty Dancing – 1987 Yes, we know: That lift is the single most important dance move in the history of movies. But the movie is not just about that lift: It is about growing up and getting out of the corner; about abortion; about that song you should never sing in karaoke but do anyway. Dirty Dancing is a classic, so much so that it transcends dance movie status. It’s just a good movie, period, which is why on this particular list, it is second to…
Shall We Dance – There are actually 3 versions of this wonderful film. The original by Fred & Ginger 1937. My second favorite is Japanese rendition which was released in 1996 be prepared to read as the movie is subtitled. Still an excellent movie and extremely funny.
My favorite of the 3 is the 2004 version where John Clark (Richard Gere) is a middle aged Chicago estate lawyer. He loves his family, which includes his wife Beverly, but their combined busy schedules and getting caught in a rut after two decades of marriage has left him feeling unfulfilled. While taking the el train home every night, he notices the same young, beautiful contemplative woman (Jennifer Lopez) staring out of one of the windows of Miss Mitzi’s Dance Studio, which specializes in ballroom dancing lessons. He is intrigued enough with her beauty and sadness to go in one evening on his way home. He learns that she is Paulina, one of the instructors and a former world class ballroom dancer. Because of her, he signs up for beginner group dance lessons, regardless of them being taught by Miss Mitzi herself, and not Paulina. As time progresses, John gets caught up in the lives of those at Miss Mitzi’s: his two fellow classmates – overweight Vern who wants to learn to dance for his upcoming wedding, and Chic, who wants to impress the ladies – and two of the studio’s
Dance with Me – 1998 Young Cuban Rafael just buried his mother, and comes to Houston to meet his father John for the first time. The difficult part is that John doesn’t know he is Rafael’s father. John runs a dance studio, and everyone prepares for the World Open Dance championship in Las Vegas. It soon becomes clear Rafael is a very good dancer, and Ruby is the biggest hope for the studio at the championship.
Saturday Night Fever – 1977 Tony Manero (John Travolta) doesn’t have much going for him during the weekdays. He still lives at home and works as a paint store clerk in his Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood. But he lives for the weekends, when he and his friends go to the local disco and dance the night away. When a big dance competition is announced, he wrangles the beautiful and talented Stephanie to be his partner. As the two train for the big night, they start to fall for each other as well. And for your information, this is where your uncle learned that pointy thing that he does at weddings, just thought you’d like to know.
Strictly Ballroom – 1992 is the most romantic climactic ballroom scene ever committed to film. (Maybe it just is anyway. Aw, it’s nice.) Although Baz Luhrmann’s directorial debut is largely forgotten, this romantic comedy follows an Australian ballroom dancer stifled by the genre’s suffocating rules. Poignant stuff for us rule-breakers.
The Tango Lesson – 1997 The British filmmaker and screenwriter Sally is in Paris writing the story of models that are murdered by a serial-killer. When she sees a performance of the Argentinean tango dance Pablo, she asks Pablo to give tango lessons to her. She becomes obsessed by the dance, dancing with Pablo. Then she travels to Hollywood to have a meeting with producers that want to make her movie, but she gives up on her project. She decides to make a movie about tango casting Pablo in exchange of their partnership in the dance.