We’re going back almost 20 years with this week’s media suggestion, but as we’re focused on dance, we couldn’t pass up a chance to share this absolutely charming movie with Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and Jennifer Lopez.
If you don’t remember this 2004 release, Shall We Dance follows Richard Gere’s character, John Clarke, as he feels unfulfilled by his life as an estate lawyer in Chicago who’s been married over twenty years (Susan Sarandon). While taking the el train home every evening, he’s intrigued by the same beautiful woman (Jennifer Lopez) at the window of Miss Mitzi’s Dance Studio.
John decides one day to go in and try a ballroom dance class. While he started classes to maybe meet the beautiful Paulina (Jennifer Lopez), he soon discovers a new group of people that he’s caring about more than he ever imagined. Along with the friendships he creates, he finds an unexpected love for dancing and a hobby that becomes a fulfilling passion.
One of our favorite parts of the movie? The honesty it shows in the struggles of a long-term marriage. When Beverly (Susan Sarandon) discovers John’s new pastime, it gives reason for one of the most accurate quotes on marriage in modern cinema –
“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.’”
If you’ve never watched this movie before, we highly recommend it as a great weekend viewing. You can stream it now on HBO Max or rent it through many streaming services.