There are a lot of reasons to recommend One Last Dance. It’s a movie where Patrick Swayze dances with his wife, Lisa Niemi. The film was produced by Niemi, and it appears to be a tender sort of love letter to her husband. Niemi and Swayze had one of those rare Hollywood marriages, in that they got married in 1975 and stayed married right up until Swayze’s untimely death last year. They met at a dance studio, danced together all their lives, and the title “One Last Dance” is a sort of sad reminder that Patrick Swayze is no longer with us.
All of those are reasons to pick up this film. Unfortunately, all those reasons are sentimental, and none are based on the quality of the movie itself. Because sadly, this movie is absolutely awful. At one point, as you can see by the picture I posted above, this movie was presented by Chicken Soup For The Soul. That should say enough by itself. This DVD release on July 6th, from Alliance Films, is not presented by Chicken Soup For The Soul. But the movie itself hasn’t changed. It’s still sappy and saccharine and almost interminably painful.
The story of the film might work, if that story were presented on stage as a ballet. I don’t know anything about ballet, nor would I claim to. But the story seems to me to be secondary to the dance moves the performers are able to do. In a movie, however, the story has to keep me engaged between dance scenes. And it sure didn’t.
As I said, I really don’t know much about ballet or dancing in general. So I have no idea whether Swayze and Niemi and the rest of this cast are any good. I assume that they are, and that the dancing would be of interest to people who were interested in dance. But even those people would have a tough time with this film. The dance scenes are often done in flashbacks, or in dream sequences, and other things of that nature. Which means they are edited all artsy and dreamily, and I rarely could see what was happening. I think if I was into dancing, I would have wanted to see…you know…all the dancing.
But since I’m not a dance fan, I was left watching an after-school special style film, where everyone just needs to work as a team after the crusty old man who runs the dance studio dies, and Swayze and Niemi need to get past the mistrust and nail that One Big Dance Move that Almost Killed Them Years Ago. I could go on, but thinking about this film is painful to me. I’m sure it would have made a fine ballet. But it’s simply dreadful as a movie. I’ll end this here. Just remember – Chicken Soup For The Soul.