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 byRandall Miller
Produced byRandall Miller
Eileen Craft
Eduardo Castro
Morris Ruskin
Jody Savin
Written byRandall Miller (short film)
Jody Savin
StarringRobert Carlyle
Marisa Tomei
Mary Steenburgen
Sean Astin
Donnie Wahlberg
David Paymer
Camryn Manheim
Adam Arkin
Sonia Braga
Elden Henson
Ernie Hudson
Miguel Sandoval
Danny DeVito
John Goodman
Music byMark Adler
CinematographyJonathan Seta
Edited byRandall Miller
Distributed bySamuel Goldwyn Films
Release date
January 25, 2005 (2005-01-25) (Sundance)
March 31, 2006 (2006-03-31)
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.5 million
Box office$404,870

Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School is a 2005 American 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 as flashbacks. Both films feature Elden Henson.


Frank Keane (Robert Carlyle) is a grieving baker unable to move on after his wife's suicide. Frank happens upon a car accident involving Steve Mills (John Goodman) who has suffered serious injuries. Steve was on his way to a ballroom dancing class in Pasadena to meet a childhood friend and asks Frank to go in his place. Frank reluctantly agrees. 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. Frank's depressive state makes him uncomfortable in an environment with so many people. However, he is drawn to shy student Meredith (Marisa Tomei). Some of the students caution him against talking to her. Meredith's partner Randall (Donnie Wahlberg), the star pupil, 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.

As the class progresses Frank discovers a natural talent for dance that surpasses Randall's. Randall jealously slashes Frank's tires in an attempt to scare off the baker. Frank ignores the attack against the advice of others and forms a friendship with Meredith, who is revealed as Randall's stepsister and not his abused girlfriend as people assumed. Meredith defends her stepbrother's overprotective behavior, which developed in response to their father's violent physical abuse.

Frank eventually scatters his wife's ashes, an act he had been unwilling to perform in the past. He begins to put his life back together. He tracks down Steve's childhood friend (Camryn Manheim) to inform her of Steve's death. She reacts as if their missed reunion means nothing, but privately she cries as she sifts through her mementos of Steve. Frank and Meredith begin a relationship, and with the other members of the dance class continue to find friendship and healing in dance.



  1. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (March 31, 2006). "A New Life Awaits at 'Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School'". The New York Times.

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