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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 9 months ago

Dirty Dancing, to some this movie is a classic and to others just another predictable “chick flick.” While it may be criticized for being predictable and out dated, this move takes its viewers back to the values and ideals of the nostalgic 1960s.

Baby (Jennifer Grey) and her family spend their last vacation together at a homey lodge in the Catskills. Baby finds herself bored with the predictable “camp” like games and attempts to set her up with young rich men until she stumbles into “dirty dancing.” Her first encounter with this new discovery involves a hunky dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), in the back corners of the mountain lodge. Loud music and raunchy dance moves show baby the quiet mountains are nothing like she thought. Complications arise when Johnny’s normal dance partner, Penny (Cynthia Rhodes), cannot dance because she needs an emergency abortion so Baby takes time to learn the routine and falls in love with her new dance instructor. When her protective father finds out about her new love interest and how he “knocked-up” Penny (Johnny did not actually do it), he tries to get Johnny fired. His plan of Baby never seeing Johnny again backfires when Johnny shows up at the end of the year talent show and dances “his kind of dance” with Baby in front of the crowd. The audience is soon dancing with them and the movie ends with everyone dancing and Baby’s father finally accepting Johnny.

According to the filmmakers, Dirty Dancing was based on a real dance period in the early 60s. But other than history, this movie has a lot to offer. Romance, coming of age, dancing, and music are just the beginning to this popular 80s movie.

Romance is Dirty Dancing’s defining characteristic. A Jewish girl falling in love with a poor dancer making his living at a summer resort is this classic plot of forbidden love. Baby learns to be free and that the world is not perfect and she teaches him to believe in himself and in his potential. In the end, love triumphs all obstacles in this feel good movie. While some critics may see this aspect of the movie as corny, the love and romance provide a perfect backdrop to the storyline. The emotional scenes carry this movie and its characters from an innocent summer vacation to a new generation through dance.

Dirty Dancing, the title is captivating and draws its viewers in. Every aspect of the movie can be traced to dance. The theme of loss of innocence and coming of age can be exemplified though the dancing in the movie. This new “dirty” dancing illustrates not only a change in the era of dance, but a change in the main character herself. Baby starts as an innocent child determined to “change the world” though the Peace Corps, and develops into a careless woman who realizes it is more important to live life in the moment. Baby’s fall from innocence and being “daddy’s girl” gives all young girls hope of falling in love with a hunky dancer and having their entire lives changed. But, the dance is what keeps this movie alive with many girls wishing to be Jennifer Grey and young guys staring in awe at Patrick Swayze’s smooth dance moves.

What is dance without music? The soundtrack for Dirty Dancing has produced such hits as “I’ve had the time of my life,” “Hungry Eyes,” and “She’s like the wind.” The soundtrack even won an academy award. This upbeat music complimented the movie well and personified the scenes. The music and the dancing are what keep this movie from falling into the “just another typical romantic movie” category.

But what makes this movie unforgettable? Maybe because it has something for everyone. Or, maybe because everyone wants to live this fantasy. Maybe it is the captivating music and dancing or its novel charm. Dirty Dancing truly has every quality of a good movie. Whether you are looking for a movie for a first date, had a bad day, or just looking to indulge in a guilty pleasure, Dirty Dancing is the perfect feel good movie. This movie was a huge success when it was produced and it can still be seen on TV today, obviously the producer had a quality movie. There was even a sequel sparked from the success of Dirty Dancing. Even though this movie was made in 1987, it is still capturing the hearts of many; it is truly timeless.

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