Classic Review: Dirty Dancing (1987)

One of the most beloved dance movies ever made, with one of cinemas most famous dance sequences, this was a firm favourite of mine growing up. 

Certificate: 15

Director: Emile Ardolino

Screenwriter: Eleanor Bergstein

Starring: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach

Genre: Drama, Music

Runtime: 100 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

During the summer of 1963, Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman go to stay at the exclusive ‘Kellermans’ resort up in the mountains. It is here that she becomes infatuated with one of the resort’s dance instructors Johnny. When she learns his dance partner is pregnant, she agrees to stand in for her at a performance so she can go and see a doctor. But after the performance it is clear the two of them have fallen in love and they start a forbidden relationship which eventually gets Baby in trouble with her family and costs Johnny his job. But that isn’t enough to stop his showing up one last time and whisking her off her feet, literally.

There is something magical about watching a well loved classic on the big screen. And that is one thing that this debacle is giving us the opportunity to do. My cinema almost never shows the classic movies, so I am snapping up as many as I can. And when I saw I had the chance to see ‘Dirty Dancing’ I was ridiculously excited. The sad part, is that when you go back to a beloved classic as an adult, sometimes, it isn’t as perfect as you remember. As was the case here.

Don’t get me wrong, this film is still a magical experience, but I don’t remember the dialogue being quite so cringey or some of the performances being so clunky. Cringey dialogue is almost a given in any romantic film but some of the lines, or the delivery of those lines in this film are just eye-rollingly bad. Grey and Swayze for the most part pull off the cheese, but there are some side characters who are just…not good.

But most people, especially those willing to go and see this film in the theatres when you could easily see it at home, don’t watch this film for it’s technical achievements. We go for the music and the dancing and the enduring love story that this film is famous for. And if you are a lover of dance films, and therefore no stranger to cheesy dialogue and spotty acting and if there is even a minute chance that you haven’t seen Dirty Dancing before now, it has all of the Dance Film elements that you love, because it did them first!

If you get the chance at your local cinema to go and check this one out again, I would recommend you do so even if it just for the dance scenes.

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