Come Dance With Me tells us that while ambitious men are still willing to woo the boss’ daughter to get to the top, those darned mid-west roots run deep and love will always have a chance over money if the right person comes along.
Jack Kesman (Andrew McCarthy) is an up-and-coming financial investor who is on the verge of not only making the biggest business coup of his career, but also is on the threshold of asking Demi Clayton (Stephanie Mills), the daughter of his boss, “the question”. In an effort to please her at the upcoming Christmas party, he’s determined to learn how to dance well enough to not embarrass himself or those around him — for in Demi’s mind, appearances are tres important.
While walking, Jack comes across the dance studio of Christine Davis (Michelle Nolden) and arranges for lessons to learn how to waltz. Enter the eviction notice: Christine is supposed to leave this studio, a place she essentially grew up in, because the company Jack is using as a stepping stone to success plans to raze it for new development. The bulk of the movie is spent with Jack trying to help Christine, because he’s growing increasingly fond of her, and nurturing his relationship with Demi and her family, because he’s grown increasingly fond of the status it brings.
Enter Jack’s mom, Jessica (Mary Long), who doesn’t do much except love her son — and reminding him why love matters. The predictable ending ensues as Jack dances from Demi into the heart of Christine — saving her studio in the process.
I had one problem with this film: Andrew McCarthy is 50 years old. In no way did he look like the ladder-climbing up-and-comer he was portrayed to be. The character screamed for someone in his mid-to-late-thirties, trying to make it big before it was too late. Instead, Andrew’s Jack comes off as a little pathetic. Disclaimer: I’m older than Andrew, so I’m not ragging on him because he can join AARP, just that the age thing constantly took me out of my suspended disbelief.
Demi had an appropriate level of clueless snobbishness without being a caricature of the breed. This doesn’t mean she wasn’t the stereotypical bad romantic match, she was, but that the character was played straight so that she’d still engender sympathy from the viewer.
I felt a little unfulfilled from the denouement. While Jack and Christine predictably dancing to their personal wins was nice, it felt a little hollow. Even something as minor as having the exterior pull-back given the addition of seeing the dancing duo through the windows. This would have left us with their bliss in contrast to the mundanity of the world outside. It also wouldn’t have hurt if either one of them had suggested they maybe date or something. There was a lot for the audience in infer, but little to grasp and hold onto tightly.
It’s a nice holiday movie. While you can see plot developments coming from miles away, they are played with a maturity the befits the story. It’s a quiet romance with moments of reflection but little in the way of dead spots. The plot itself is a little thin but the most was made of what was there.
|3.25 of 5|
For more movies, go to the list at: Watching the Holiday Movies
Photo: Copyright 2012 Crown Media Holdings, Inc./Photographer: Ben Mark Holzberg