Spoilers will dance if they want to.
Have you ever tapped your feet to a song in the radio while people are present, but are ready to go full Fred Astaire / Gene Kelly / John Travolta / Lin-Manuel Miranda when there’s nobody watching? Then there’s a chance you will empathize with the strange case of the woman who cannot stop singing and dancing when the music comes on. Of course this is a comedy, but it’s also the perfect excuse to bring back the musical.
Dance With Me is the brainchild of writer/director Shinobu Yaguchi. Business-savy Shizuka (Ayaka Miyoshi) is on her way to the top, when her sister and single mother drops on her to get her to babysit her young daughter. Shizuka takes her to a small fair where a down-on-his luck hypnotist grants her wish of being good at singing and dancing. Unfortunately, the session affects Shizuka causing her to abandon all reason the moment a song or melody is heard and start a grand musical number.
Shizuka tries to escape her musical plight but finds it impossible to prevent the music from playing wherever she goes. That causes her a blessing in disguise when a presentation for a big account customer includes a music track. That sends Shizuka dancing out of the room but causing enough admiration to secure the customer and the admiration of the office’s most eligible bachelor executive, who wants her on his team. Now Shizuka must find a way to break her trance before the chance of the lifetime is gone forever. She will need to hit the road with street smart Chie Saito (Yuu Yashiro) in a road trip where the music never stops and the trouble just keeps on coming.
Highly recommended for fans of asian comedy, but also for fans of music in general. This one is a movie with a lot of music, dancing and laughs but also with a lot of heart. Ayaka Miyoshi is really cementing her status as a triple threat, carrying the movie from the moment she starts singing and dancing. As the story endears you to the character, the road trip (a musical version of the hero’s journey) is actually the catalyst for her to rekindle her love for music and dancing. Hopefully it will cause the same effect for the audience that watches it.
That will do for now.