I have an announcement. I can barely contain myself. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I’M IN LOVE!!!!!! Yes you heard me. I’m in love. It’s not a new love. I have rekindled an old love, a summer fling. Who or what is the object of my affection you ask? It is none other than 1987’s “Dirty Dancing” starring Patrick Swayze and the very adorable Jennifer Grey. I know, I know another dance movie, but I just can’t seem to get enough. You all know how important dance is to me. It permeates my life from all directions. I had forgotten how wonderful this movie is and I recommend you go out and rent it right now. This very minute… or you can wait until you finish reading. Whatever.
This is such an inspirational feel-good movie that it changed my life forever. I was so conflicted with what direction my life should take. On one hand I had my dream of going to Mount Holyoke College to major in economics so I could eventually join the Peace Corps. And on the other hand, I wanted to run around and look adorable as I danced on bridges and logs and in the lake with that hot dance instructor, Johnny Castle. This movie made me realize I could have it all. I mean it was 1963 and things they were a changin’.
Oh wait, that’s not me. That was Baby from the movie. Sometimes I just get so caught up in the moment I think I am actually in the movie. Sorry.
But it did change me. Here I was a beautiful, sexy dancer, a Rockette even and my life had no direction. My mother kicked me out at sixteen and I had been dancing ever since. I found myself preggers by Robbie, the waiter and creep, and in 1963 this was a huge problem. I thought there was no hope until Baby got me the money for my abortion I mean my appointment (they never say the word abortion not one time in the whole movie). Is this kid for real? I can’t believe she gave me the money even after I was so mean to her when she tried to help. I even told her “Go back to your playpen, Baby.”
Oops, I did it again. That’s not me either. That’s Penny (Cynthia Rhodes). Where is my medication????
Remember when Baby talks to Johnny the first time and when asked what she’s doing there she says “I carried a watermelon.” OMG. How embarrassing. We’ve all had those moments when we meet someone we admire and say something stupid. Please share your “I carried a watermelon” story with me.
Okay, so this is a really good movie. There’s a lot of dancing, awesome music and sex. Oh, and a lot of “Dirty Dancing”. Who knew people in the Catskills were so talented and horny??
I would like to talk about the Dirty Dancing Dancers. I know they were all supposed to work at the resort but did anyone ever see any of them working except for Johnny and Penny? They were always dancing and grinding on each other. I mean not that dancing and grinding is not a job in and of it self. I wouldn’t know. I’m just saying.
Oh, also, I almost forgot. When you watch the dancers and I know you will – look for Amy Winehouse. She was one the dancers. I swear.
Let me talk about the fashions for one minute. Baby’s wardrobe is really cute except for that bulky blue sweater she wears at the beginning. I hate that sweater. But that’s before she boinks Johnny and gets all sexy. And I do have to mention the pink ballet flats with the “X” strap. I had those shoes. Too. Cute. Johnny, on the other hand, only wore black. That’s it, Bad Boy Black.
Remember that old couple who was caught stealing all the wallets? There is a scene where the old lady drops her purse and all the wallets fall out. Baby and Penny help her pick up her things. Any of this sound familiar? The old lady says something that I have never been able to make out. Something like “such charm, such charm” or “suck my arm, suck my arm” or something. If you know what she says…please tell me.
They have all these silly activities at Kellerman’s and one of my favorites is “The Hair Raising Wig Show”. And all the women sit around and try on wigs like Sandra Dee, Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor. But no Little Richard wigs. Thank goodness. All this is announced by the resorts comedian who is none other than Newman from Seinfeld.
Early on Baby is sort of fixed up with Neil, Mr. Kellermans nephew, and they have this scene that I think is too funny. They are standing outside and Neil says “I love to watch your hair blowing in the breeze.” Baby is looking off to the side and rolling her eyes and she says that maybe her parents are looking for her. Neil says “Baby, don’t worry if they think your with me, they’ll be the happiest parents at Kellerman’s. I have to say it. I’m known as the catch of the county.” I’m thinking – you’re losing me Neil, Baby you need to get away from this loser. Then Neil says those three little words that every girl dreams of hearing -“Are you hungry?” And I’m back in. Neil seems like a nice guy and he has access to the kitchen. I love him.
There are so many good scenes that involve Lisa, Baby’s sister. I really like the one where she has decided to go all the way with Robbie, the waiter and creep. And she tells Baby and Baby says no wait until it’s with someone you love. And Lisa says “You don’t care about me. You wouldn’t care if I humped the entire army… as long as we were on the right side of the Ho Chi Minh trail. What you care about is that you’re not Daddy’s girl anymore. He listens to when I talk now, and you hate that.” I love it that she is able to work humping and Vietnam into this one conversation. You go Lisa!
Here is my favorite scene. Let me break it down for you:
Johnny and Baby are practicing for their performance at the Sheldrake. They do the final move and she hurts his back and he says something like are you trying to kill me? Is this fun? And she’s like yes this is my idea of fun. We’re supposed to do the show in two days, you won’t show me the lifts, I’m not sure of the turns. I’m doing all this to save your ass and what I really want to do is drop you on it. And then he says let’s get outta here.
And they go outside in the rain and he has locked his keys in the car. That song Overload is playing and Johnny pulls up one of these stakes or poles whatever they are from the parking lot and as the music is playing boom, boom he knocks the window out with the pole with the beat of the music. It’s always cool to break glass in tune with the music.
Then they are driving down the road and Baby says “You’re wild!” and he’s like “What?” and she says even louder “YOU’RE WIIIILD!” I love that part.
In spite of its name, “Dirty Dancing” is quite a family friendly movie well except for the premarital sex, adultery, lying, stealing, and the abortion I mean – appointment.
So watch the movie and enjoy it. Here is a clip to hold you over until you can get to the video store: