Monday, May 28, 2007

Review - Dirty Dancing

Released in 1987, this movie records a summer interlude in upstate New York, around about 1963. Apparently it is the most watched movie of all time by women. Not sure what that says about me right now but I absolutely enjoyed it and could watch it again and again!

The plot sets out to differentiate between the haves and have nots of America at the time of the Southern marches, only here this is a predominantly white persons' story set in the North. The guests and staff at a resort hotel are not to mix (unless there is the potential for a good union later in life). So when Baby (Jennifer Grey) gets in with the professional dancers (led by Johnny (Patrick Swayze) there are going to be fireworks.

Things get worse when an abortion goes wrong and Baby's doctor father (played by Jerry Orbach) gets involved. He is a class bigot (a nice one nonetheless) and much of the plot hinges on his fixed attitudes about people being kept in their place.

The title, of course, stems from the emerging presence of soul music in American culture, introducing a sensuality that steams up from Memphis and New Orleans via Chicago and Detroit into the back rooms and basements of white society. Baby blossoms at the tender, professional hand of Johnny, who ultimately learns a life lesson from Baby. A very happy ending is danced to "The Time of My Life", a major hit at the time of the movie's release,.

[A piece of triva. Patrick Swayze grew up in the Houston Heights and attended Houston's Waltrip High School (which is located a few hundred yards from a house I owned from 1981 to 1998). He may be the reason the movie is the most-watched by women!]