Okay, okay, so the male lead has one name like Cher or Madonna and sounds either like a Mexican spice or the capital of Wyoming. So the title of the movie is "Dance With Me." And so it's not going to win any Nobel Peace Prizes for Quantum Mechanics.
What "Dance With Me" will do, however, is relax you into a nice moviegoing experience if you let it, and I highly recommend you accept the challenge. Chayanne stars as a Cuban man who moves to Houston to be with his father, dance instructor Kris Kristofferson. Problem is, Dad doesn't know he's family; he's just there to clean the floor and keep things interesting for the clients. Enter Vanessa Williams, an ex-dance star who wants one last shot at winning the competition in the Latin categories.
The whole thing plays out rather predictably, but Randa Haines, who brought you "Children of a Lesser God" knows exactly what she's doing. One scene in particular, where Chayanne and Vanessa Williams go dancing at a Latin club, is pure '40s filmmaking magic. Choreographed beautifully, it has a sense of abandon and an overt public sexuality that most directors could only dream of. Even the final dance sequences at the competition, while strictly controlled, are breathtaking at times. At no point in this thing do you falter in your belief in Williams as a dancer; she is absolutely terrific.
This movie can and will get lost in the end-of-the-summer shuffle, but don't let it; if anything, it's a perfect date movie, just fine for the winding down of a hot summer after a cool night out. Call yer sweetie and git out of the house!
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