'Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School'
This flat-footed male weepie musters an insurance ad's worth of clichés about the importance of busting a move in middle ageand it strains so hard to do so that it's almost perversely compelling. Grieving the loss of his wife, a timid bakery owner (Robert Carlyle) on a routine delivery happens upon a car wreck victim (John Goodman) who remains near death and chatty for much, much longer than it takes him to explain that he was en route to meet a childhood sweetheart at the titular school when fate thumbed a ride. Persuaded to keep the "dying" stranger's appointment for him, our widowed baker hero ends up scoring on the dancefloor with a fellow wallflower (Marisa Tomei), leading to a risible love scene wherein co-writerdirector Randall Miller yearns to do for sexy breadmaking what Ghost did for sexy pottery. A veteran of Sinbad and Kid 'N Play vehicles, Miller apparently couldn't secure studio financing even for this, a 12-step movie of square-dance convention.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Alex Gibney: Steve Jobs Had the 'Focus of a Monk — Without the Empathy'
- Netflix’s 'Narcos' Tries to Be 'The Wire' for Colombia’s Drug War
- ‘The Second Mother’ Offers a Sharp Brazilian Take on the Upstairs/Downstairs Drama
- The Predictability of Teary Kids Doc 'My Voice, My Life' Doesn't Make It Any Less Powerful