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Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing & Charm School review

Ballroom dancing is like owning Princess Diana crockery: sought by some, scorned by many. Yet this sentimental effort by director Randall Miller follows in a (conga) line behind what is fast becoming a “use your soles to save your soul” sub-genre (think Mad Hot Ballroom, Take The Lead, etc). So, when widowed baker Robert Carlyle discovers a crashed car containing a dying man (John Goodman), who was on his way to a 40-year-old date at the eponymous dance school, he finds himself persuaded to go in his place. Let the Marisa Tomei-shaped healing begin! What follows is perhaps the longest death scene in cinema history, as Goodman wheezes his way through 103 minutes of how-he-went-there-as-a-child-and-fell-in-love flashback schmaltz.

 

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