Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dirty Dancing (1987)


     Another iconic 80's movie that I had grown up hearing about, but never watched until last night. With a title like Dirty Dancing, you never know what to expect...drama, romance, musical, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a well balanced mix of all three with a good amount of 80's charm that has made it such a cult hit. This film is somewhat of  a modern day Romeo and Juliet story of two young people that put all they have on the line in order to break down their societal barriers and bring change to two vastly differently social orders.

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Baby & Johnny
Jennifer Grey as Baby and Patrick Swayze as Johnny
 in Dirty Dancing (1987)
     In 1963, Baby (real name is Francis after Francis Perkins) and her family are travelling to a resort in the Catskill mountains. While Baby comes from a well to do family, she dreams of changing the world and she believes that the best way she accomplish that is by joining the peace corps. Little does she know, that she's going to bring unexpected change in the divided resort between the wealthy owners and low paid entertainment that are usually kept out of sight.

     Soon, Baby meets Johnny. The handsome head dancer who has an extraordinary talent on the dance floor and an incredibly generous nature toward the dancers who are under his responsibility. After Johnny's partner, Penny, finds herself pregnant and at odds to know what to do, Baby jumps in and helps her without any question by giving her money for an abortion (the only part of the movie I didn't like). Then Baby fills in to become Johnny's dance partner in a dance night he needs to save his job at the resort. 

     The problem is, Baby has no dancing talent at all. In a matter of a few weeks, Johnny teaches Baby how to dance and dance very, very well. Primarily the sensual freak dancing that she has never seen and certainly knows her parents would never want her to learn. Soon, Baby and Johnny find themselves falling in love with one another, but both know that Baby's father will disapprove of the relationship, seeing that Johnny has no solid career and a penchant for getting into trouble. However, Baby and Johnny defy their insurmountable odds and teach this once divided community how to dance and how to really live. 

Jennifer Grey as Baby and Patrick Swayze as Johnny
 in Dirty Dancing (1987). This scene was hysterical!
     Patrick Swayze was irresistibly romantic and charming as Johnny, the boy from the other side of the tracks that has nothing but talent and dreams. Yet talent can only get him so far and his dreams seem to slip farther and farther away. Johnny was well written as the romantic hero that wasn't broody or sappy and had a genuinely good heart that really tried to see the best in others. Admit it, it's simply too hard to not fall in love with Patrick Swayze : ) 

      I really loved Jennifer Grey in this role! Baby wasn't a stereotypical rich girl who was completely oblivious to the hardships of other people (and that was a big archetype in 80's teen films). She was so kind and generous and maybe little reckless from time to time, but I still thought that Baby was a great character. Some of her best scenes were actually when she was telling Johnny off about whatever issue they were arguing over and I would think, "I totally agree with her!"

     That dancing was very beautiful and I loved watching Baby's development from inexperience to finding an incredible talent. And the music was all very 80's, but I grew up listening to most of it, so it's a little nostalgic to me too. The only problem I had (besides the illegal abortion) was that the film took place in the early 60's, but the costumes and hair were all very much from the 80's. That being said, this was just a good sweet film, that may be predictable, but sent a good message of honing nonjudgmental attitudes of people around you and of doing the right thing, even when everyone else is questioning you. 

7 comments:

  1. oOoooh! We've played Time of My Life in band and this musical came here! Shame I didn't go and see it cause it looks so good! :D

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    1. I didn't even know it was an actual stage musical. I'll have to see if I can find a performance online.

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    2. I didn't either till I saw the trailer! I think there are snippets from our cast..
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU2i36t7FwE
      :-)

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  2. Hi again! Do you know how to display the we heart it button?

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    Replies
    1. Well, you mean the button you use on the top of your screen to heart an image? In that case it should explain it there on the site, but everything I do is from the computer not a phone. So, the settings may be different. I hope that helps!

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    2. Ah yes I found it..Thank you! (I'm lettersfromavonlea on WHI by the way :))

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    3. I know who you are : ) I don't see you a lot on Blogger, but you are on Pinterest a great deal.

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