What guy in his right mind would want to watch a movie titled, 'Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School?' The name absolutely shrieks out the warning, "CHICK FLICK!" If you're like me and thought that, you'd be wrong.
This is an insightful tale of personal choices and how the choices we make effect the path we travel in life. Frank Keane (Robert Carlyle), recently widowed, is driving his bakery truck along a deserted stretch of highway when he comes upon the scene of a horrible accident. He calls 911 and is told to keep the injured motorist talking until they arrive. The name of the injured driver is Steve Mills (John Goodman) who was rushing to an important appointment made thirty-five years ago with his grammar school sweetheart. They had both vowed to meet on the 5th day of the 5th month of the new millenium at Marilyn Hotchkiss' Charm School. When Steve finally realizes he'll never be able to keep his promise he asks Frank to keep the appointment for him. Frank honors Steve's last request and in doing so changes the course of his life forever.
On the outside we discover a sweet, nostalgic, disarming film, funny at times, poignant and bittersweet at others. However on a deeper level we discover the storyline serves as a metaphor of spiritual awakening. The ballroom is the world and the coming together to dance is how one chooses or refuses to embrace life. As Miss Hotchkiss says, "Dance is a very powerful drug."
The cast is terrific, especially Robert Carlyle, Marisa Tomei, Donnie Wahlberg and John Goodman.
OK, maybe it's kind of a chick flick. But it's a great one!