Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School

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Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School
Marilyn hotchkiss ballroom dancing.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Randall Miller
Produced by Randall Miller
Eileen Craft
Eduardo Castro
Morris Ruskin
Jody Savin
Written by Randall Miller (short film)
Jody Savin
Starring Robert Carlyle
John Goodman
Sean Astin
Mary Steenburgen
Marisa Tomei
Music by Mark Adler
Cinematography Jonathan Seta
Edited by Randall Miller
Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films
Release date
January 25, 2005 (2005-01-25) (Sundance)
March 31, 2006 (2006-03-31)
Running time
103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.5 million
Box office $404,870

Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School is a 2005 musical romance film produced by Samuel Goldwyn Films and directed by Randall Miller.[1] It is based on a 1990 short film of the same name (fragments of which are interwoven through the film) also featuring Elden Henson.


Frank Keane (Robert Carlyle) is a baker grieving his wife's recent death and living in a near catatonic state. Frank happens upon a car accident and meets the loquacious and insightful victim, Steve Mills (John Goodman). Steve is on his way to an appointment in Pasadena to meet a childhood friend and asks Frank to go in his place. Frank goes in search of Steve's friend and arrives at a ballroom dance class, as the film progresses the story moves back and forth through the timeline of Steve's childhood, the accident scene, and the aftermath of Frank's first Lindy hop.

Steve's friend does not appear at the dance class, and Frank is uncomfortable being in an environment with so many people as a result of his depression. However, he is drawn to shy student Meredith but is cautioned against talking to her by some of the other students. Meredith's partner Randall is the star pupil of the class but is an obnoxious bully who takes an instant dislike to Frank and tries to intimidate him. Frank's friends from grief therapy convince him to continue with the dance class and soon the entire therapy group has joined in, it is also learned throughout the film that Frank's wife committed suicide, and that Frank suffers from depression as a result of his guilt from not being able to see something was wrong with her until it was too late.

As the class progresses Frank is found to have a natural talent for dance that surpasses Randall, who jealously slashes his tires in an attempt to scare the baker off. Frank ignores the attack against the advice of others and forms a friendship with Meredith - who is revealed to be Randall's stepsister rather than abused girlfriend as was initially believed. Meredith defends her stepbrother's behavior, explaining that it stems from the fact their father was a violent man who was physically abusive to them and Randall is overly protective of Meredith as a result.

Frank eventually scatters his wife's ashes; an act he had been unwilling to perform in the past, and begins to put his life back together. He also tracks down Steve's childhood friend to inform her of Steve's passing, although she acts as if it isn't important, she is later shown looking at childhood pictures of Steve and shedding a tear. Frank and Meredith, along with the other members of the dance class, continue to find friendship and healing in each other.



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