August 02, 2004 12:00 PM

Midlife crises usually result in fast cars or fast flings. But in the romantic comedy Shall We Dance (opening Oct. 15), Richard Gere’s bored lawyer opts for fast moves. After spotting Jennifer Lopez in a dance studio, the happily married (to Susan Sarandon) Gere impulsively signs up for ballroom lessons. He falls in love: not with Lopez, but with dancing. Despite the Chicago vet and former Fly Girl’s hoofing pedigrees, “ballroom dancing is a whole different world,” says the film’s producer Simon Fields. Gere and Lopez endured daily dance-till-they-dropped rehearsals. Now, says Fields, “they’re phenomenal.”

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