Watching Shall We Dance last night, the weak Miramax remake of the Japanese original, I couldn't help but be struck by what a Gere shaped hole there is in American movies thanks to him. Because Richard Gere doesn't so much act as take up as little space as possible in a series of roles looking for an actor. For a male movie lead, Gere has surprisingly very little charisma. He lingers uncomfortably on the margins of movies, nervously running his hands through his hair, trying to project some kind of emotion besides his trademark laid back mopeyness. It is all too easy to imagine what the Shall We Dance remake might have been like with Stanley Tucci in the lead instead of Gere. And it's not hard to extend that principle to so many other movies, to think of what so many of the movies might have been like if we imagined replacing Richard Gere with say Jimmy Stewart, an actor Gere once compared himself to. Since Gere has never been too popular with male audiences, he has spent much of his career on the margins in the romance movie ghetto. And there a blank male lead who like a male Megan Fox is nothing more than the receptacle for the fantasies of the opposite sex is actually an asset. But Shall We Dance deserved more than to be another gaping hole in Richard Gere's slow dreary fall through cinema.