"The people who made Dance With Me missed the beat. It's not a bad movie. It's entertaining enough, but you'd expect the whole point of it to be contained in the title. At ninety minutes, it would have been a high energy look at hot Latin dancing. Instead, it runs over two hours, and for some reason, devotes a lot time to a predictable, unoriginal story line. Puerto Rican heart throb Chayanne, whose real first name is Elmer, plays a young Cuban named Rafael. When his mother dies, he contacts a man named John [Kris Kristofferson] in Texas who his mom always claimed was the father. Rafael is the result of a ship board romance, and while John invites Rafael to come to America, he does not know it's his son who will arrive. Rafael becomes the maintenance man at John's run down ballroom dance school. There he meets gorgeous, talented and intelligent Ruby Sinclair [Vanessa L. Williams], who is an instructor. It's love at first sight for Rafael, but Ruby has been burned by love once too often and has an illegitimate son to prove it. The school is peopled by odd ball characters, who are practicing for a national championship in Las Vegas. They spend much more time batting uninspired one-liners back and forth than they do preparing for the contest. The exceptions are Ruby and one other woman. Will John follow through on his plan to close the school? How will he react when he finds out Rafael is his son? When will Ruby get over her pride and fall for Rafael? Will our Cuban hero ever get to dance? Will he ever stop smiling?The predictable story might have been fine if its delivery had been energetic. Director Randa Haines chose to keep the pace of it slow, which conflicts with the dance sequences. They make the movie come alive. There are three show stopping numbers, and for someone like me who likes dancing, they are worth the price of the video rental. Otherwise, the only interesting bit to me was watching Rafael and Ruby come to terms with each other over what defines dancing. Both their styles are terrific, but his is of the streets, while hers is of the classroom. This is the first movie I've seen which shows that two people may be dancers, but that doesn't mean they can dance with each other.One great dance routine comes early in the movie. Rafael burns up the dance floor at a Latin disco in Texas. The rest come at the end during the ballroom competition, where couples doing the Rumba, the Samba, the Cha Cha and the Tango show us couch potatoes that we may be missing a lot in life. There's about an hour between the first and last dance numbers, and this is where the movie really drags."
Chayanne and Vanessa Williams: The Perfect COmbination!
Luis Hernandez | New York, New York, USA | 10/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While its' premise can be a bit boring at times, "Dance With Me" is an entertaining film that will give the viewers a glimpse of the competitive world of ballroom dancing. Making his American feature film debut is Puerto Rican singing superstar Chayanne, whose previous claim to fame has been his successful recording career in the Spanish-speaking world. While Chayanne has acted in only one movie prior to "Dance With Me" (the 1994 Puerto Rican film "Linda Sara," which co-starred Dayanara Torres, a former Miss Universe who is now married to Latin singing-superstar Mark Anthony) his role as Rafael, a recent Cuban emigre in Texas is somewhat believable. He doesn't possess the accent or the personality of a native Cuban, and I don't understand why the producers didn't make his character Puerto Rican instead.Vanessa L. Williams is wonderful as usual, and her dancing will blow you away. Both her and Chayanne add sex appeal and passion to this somewhat slow, sometimes sappy film. Kris Kristofferson is great as Rafael's father, however I did feel that Joan Plowright's character was out of place. The film does convey a Latin feel to it, and the film's soundtrack will validate this as many Latino singer stars such as Gloria Estefan and Thalia lend their musical talents to it. It was an added bonus to see both singing superstars Albita and the DLG perform live in the film. Albita, Cuba's hottest export in recent years, mixes her usual blend of salsa with traditional Cuban rhythms. DLG, the Puerto Rican-Dominican salsa group are also incredible, and their performances are an added bonus in this film.Director Randa Hines ("Children of a Lesser God") does a great job in keeping the cast and story together. as the pride of San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, Chayanne can rest assure that he will have a bright career ahead of him due to his good looks and personality (he is already the official spokesperson for the Puerto Rico's Tourism). Vanessa Williams will blow you away with her dancing, and the film will give you a craving for Latin music and dancing. An excellent film for anyone wanting to explore Latin music and dancing."
Matthew Horner | 03/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Dance With Me" was a really great movie that worked on many levels. It had great music, an enthusiastic, fun-loving cast, a great storyline, believable characters, sensitivity, romance, and a happy ending. This was accomplished without the use of gratuitios sex, violence, and bad language that seems to be all too common in todays movies of lesser character. Vanessa L. Williams was great as dancer Ruby, and Chayanne was wonderful and romantic as her male love-interest, though he did have a tendency to smile way too much. They were amazingly romantic, full of chemistry, Chayanne was very convincing in his role as a man with dubious parentage. Chayanne is hot, yes, but even hotter was the man who played Vanessa L. William's ex-partner, the father of her son, and competetion partner during the Latin dance contest sequence. He is an extremely sexy man! I only wish that he, Valenzuela (the male Valenzuela--not the woman one), could have gotten WAY more screen time. This movie makes you want to get up and dance. It moves you in more ways than one. I've watched it at least twenty-five times since it was released (very limitedly in the theaters), and I will watch it, no doubt, twenty-five more times before it's all over. This is a fantastic, glamourous movie, and if you prefer a little "ethnicity" in your movies as opposed to formulaic movies like "Strictly Ballroom" or "Dirty Dancing," and if you want to hear great Afro-Carribbean-Latin sounds and see some of the best dancers in the world, this movie is for you."
L.M. | 07/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great movie!!!! I loved the music, dancing, and the intense chemistry between the actors. I especially enjoyed the handsome, sexy Chayanne!!! He's an excellent singer, dancer, and actor!! He and Vanessa looked amazing together. I prefer this movie to Dirty Dancing. If anyone wants to see and hear more of Chayanne, he's in a new commercial, and has realeased a new video from his latest album Cautivo, which has gone multi-platinum!!"
Try this one sitting down
L.M. | 02/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"boy, did the miss america pageant get it wrong...vanessa williams is gorgeous... a major triple threat, and this movie is the proof. predictable plot, but that is completely overshadowed by the spectacular music and dancing. good, clean GETUPANDDANCE fun. a real winner, a real upper."