May 22, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

What makes a conservative Japanese accountant with a house, wife, and child secretly take dance lessons? Could it be the striking, melancholy dance teacher he spies from his commuter train? Set in a country where outward displays of private emotion are scandalous, Shall We Dance? follows the rhythms of its halting hero’s midlife crisis and unlikely resolution to sentimental yet hilarious effect, the most reliable comic relief coming any time Naoto Takenaka’s Mr. Aoki does his catlike rumba. The only debit to seeing this beautifully shot film on the small screen is that the sweeping dance scenes at Blackpool aren’t quite as grand. A-

You May Like