Archive for June, 2008

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

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:




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I’m a fraud. A fake. A phony.

In my last post I made all these heartfelt confessions about why I always wanted to be Catholic.  It was all a lie.   A sham.  A ruse.  Here is the real reason I wanted to be Catholic.

“I love to watch you dance Tony.  I love to watch you dance.”


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Take your passion…And make it happen!

I’m at it again.  This time it is 1983’s “Flashdance”.  You know the one where Alex (Jennifer Beals) is a welder in a Pittsburgh steel mill and a dancer at Mawby’s Bar.  I hesitate to call her a stripper, because she never really takes her clothes off.  But her real dream is to study at the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance.  This movie has some great songs like What a Feeling by Irene Cara, Maniac by Michael Sembello, Lady, Lady, Lady by I don’t remember who, Gloria by Laura Branigan (I really loved this song and in fact I owned a Laura Branigan cassette.  Apparently she passed in way in 2004 of a brain aneurysm. I did not know that.)  Oh, and I’ll Be Here Where the Heart Is by Kim Carnes.  Remember her?  She had this really deep, husky sexy voice.  Whatever happened to her?  Didn’t she also sing Betty Davis Eyes?  I think yes. 

I had one major problem with this movie.  It’s not the music and it’s not the fashion.  Truth be told, the clothes were not that bad.  Well, except….well…there is this one outfit but I’ll talk about it later.  Some of Alex’s outfits you could actually see on the streets of Pittsburgh today-the straight leg jeans with the high heel pumps, mini skirts with leggings and converse sneakers.  I don’t know about you, but these items are all staples of my current wardrobe.  I think leg warmers have even made a comeback. 

Then of course there is THE LOOK.  Who didn’t run home and immediately cut the neck out of all their sweatshirts.  Just a little side note here:  my friend, let’s call her Cher, almost lost her life because of the torn sweatshirt look.  If you know her, just ask, she’ll tell you all about it.)  Supposedly, Jennifer Beals came up with that look herself.  Thank goodness those shiny Lycra workout bodysuits have not made a comeback.  Yuck.  (At least I don’t think they’ve made a comeback.  Haven’t been in a gym in awhile.)

All the dancers are wearing those shiny things during the work out scene and I think I Love Rock-n-Roll by Joan Jett is playing.  Tina Tech (played by Cynthia Rhodes, who was in fact, a real dancer-watch for her in my upcoming “Dirty Dancing” review) is whining about whether some guy will call or not.  (So glad I never did anything as pathetic as that.  Geez.  Get a life.)  Alex keeps telling her he’ll call, he’ll call, he’ll call.  And the black dancer tells her to call him and then she says something about how she is sooo glad she’s not a honky!  How funny is that?   I’ve never heard anybody in real life use the word honky.

So this brings me to my major problem with this movie:  WIGS!!!    They looked they were from the Little Richard Wig Collection.  We all know that Jenny B didn’t do her own dancing.  I have no problem with that. Could they not find a dancer with naturally curly hair?  Was this person not available?  He’s about the same size, can dance and has naturally curly hair. 

Anyway, the wigs are sooo bad and they look like they are about to fall off at any moment.  If you have not watched this movie in awhile, you should watch just to check out the wig situation.  I never noticed when I was younger but now it is so obvious to me.

I will move on from the wigs to Michael Nouri.  He plays Nick, Alex’s boss at the steel mill and they end up falling in love even though he is old enough to be her father.  But he has a Porsche so who am I to argue with true love.

On one of their dates, they go to watch Jeanie (Alex’s best friend) skate.  This is a dance movie so I don’t know why they had to have a ice-skating, but whatever.  Jeanie has been training for like two years to make into the Ice Capades and everything seems to be going well until she pulls a Tonya Harding and falls on her ass.  Everyone is really sad and trying to comfort her.  She’s all worried about what her Dad will say and he says something about how he’s never loved anybody as much as he loves her at that moment.  Puhleez…where is Jeff Gillooly when you need him?

Another favorite scene is after Alex sees Nick at the ballet with his ex-wife and then she goes to his house on her bike.  And throws a rock through one of his windows.  This scene is pretty funny because I kept thinking how can you make a quick getaway on a bike?  It’s hard enough in a white Honda Prelude.  I’m guessing.  I wouldn’t really know.  But a bicycle?  I don’t know how she did it but she did.  Then the next day at work he is trying to buy her a sandwich from the lunch cart and she is like “No, I don’t want you to buy me a sandwich and I don’t want you to buy me, period.”  And they are arguing back and forth. Trudy, the lunch cart lady, makes the funniest expressions like she wants to say “I’m so glad I’m not a honky.” 

Nick can’t figure out why she is so pissed and mentions that he is not having a good day because of the broken window and she tells him it was her.  And Nick is all like why and that cost me $180.00 bucks and I had special order it.  Then Alex says “Who’s the blonde in the white dress?”  And Nick has that deer in the headlights look that all men get when asked about “the blonde in the white dress” and then, like, duh, he remembers that he went to the ballet with his Ex Wife, who happens to be blonde and wearing a white dress.  He tries to explain how they are on the Arts Council and see each other once a year for this event.  Yada, yada, yada.  So Alex forgives him.  They kiss and make-up in front of all the construction workers or steel mill workers or whatever they are.  They just look like a bunch of dirty guys eating their lunch who cheer when Alex and Nick kiss.  Oh, the good old days when the 40-something boss could boink his 18 year old employee and nobody called foul or sexual harassment or Gloria Allred.

Okay, so here is my favorite scene.  Let me break it down for you:

It is the restaurant scene with the lobster.  You all know what I’m talking about.  I just knew I was not going to use this scene because it makes me soooo uncomfortable with all the sucking, the slurping, and tongue wrestling of the lobster.  This scene really turned me off lobster.  I mean I will not be making a run for the Lob anytime soon. 


Not to mention the dialogue here. 

“How’s the lobster?” 

“It sucks.” 

“Want some of mine?” 

“I’m not hungry.” 

“Whatever turns you on.” 

“What turns you on?” 

“Do you like phone booths?” 

OMG.  Then she has her foot in his crotch.  Yikes.  But I have to say she had on some really cute lace tights. 


 I was so worried about the butter stains on her clothes and then she takes her jacket off.  Anyone remember this????  She has on one of those paper bib things that just looks like a tuxedo shirt and is held on by those little elastic bands and even has little matching paper cuffs.  At first I thought that is really stupid but then I realized this is really quite smart.  I mean if you are going to be slurping and sucking lobster soaked in butter your chances of getting a stain are pretty good.  And we all know how hard those butter stains are to get out.  You know you still eat butter.  Don’t you?  So if you get a stain you just throw away your paper shirt and put on a new one.  I think the fashion industry has missed the boat on this one.  I mean disposable clothing has been around for a long time and no one is trying to market it for grown ups. Hello, people, disposable diapers.


Okay, so then we get to meet the Ex Wife.  You know “the blonde in the white dress”.  She looks like some sort of Russian Czarina or 70’s super model with that fur hat and the crimped hair and the air of superiority.  Why is she wearing a fur hat in a restaurant?  I know Pittsburgh is cold, but seriously.  I think her name is Katie, but I am going to call her Katarina. Here is where the dialogue gets good.  The Ex Wife says something about the first date and did he take her to the steel mill?  He always does.  Then Alex says “yes and I f—– his brains out.”  And then Katarina says, very smugly, as she looks at Alex sitting there in her paper shirt with butter dripping off her chin and her lace clad foot in Nick’s crotch, “Obviously you did.”  Brilliant.  Best line of the whole movie.


I almost forgot something else I liked about this movie.  Alex was Catholic and she goes to confession two times.  As some of you may know, I always wanted to be Catholic.  Cher, my friend, not the singer, always wanted know why Catholic and I never really knew.  We did not attend church when I was a child so most of my experience with church was through books, movies or TV.  And there seemed to be something special about being Catholic.  I think I know now that it was because there were a lot of outward symbols that you were Catholic-you know the stand-up, sit down, fight, fight thing they do in church, crossing yourself, confession, rosaries, cute little cross necklaces and the saint necklaces (love those), crucifixes, and the Virgin Mary just to name a few.  At that time I had no idea about the spiritual part so I thought the rituals and symbols were cool.  I didn’t intend to bare my soul here or offend any Catholics.  I still think Catholics are cool.  So I will move on.


The first confessional scene she confesses that she has been thinking about sex a lot, I mean “how can you not?” she says.  


The next confession is after Hanna (she was Alex’s mentor and dance teacher) dies and she’s all crying about how she wants so much and she’s not sure if it’s every gonna happen.  All well and good but we don’t get to see what her penance is.  What I thought would be funny is if the priest was Gene Kelly and her penance was like some really difficult dance moves.  Something like this:  “Your penance is twenty Hail Mary’s, forty  arabesques, sixty pliés, eighty rond de jambes and may God have mercy on your soles.”  Hee, hee.  See, what I did there?  Soles instead of soul.  I crack myself up.

This movie is still good after all these years if you can get past the wig situation.  I’m trying. 

Of course the final scene is awesome.  Alex auditions even after she found out that Nick pulled a few strings.  There is no way I can do this scene justice so I found this clip:

So watch and enjoy.

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One kid. One town. One chance.

Guess what was on TV last night???  Only one of the most awesome movies of the 80’s and there were a lot of them.  “Footloose” starring Kevin Bacon.  You know the one where Ren (Kevin Bacon) moves to a small town from Chicago where he was in some kind of trouble…drugs.  But don’t say anything.  And the town is all strict and doesn’t allow any kind of nonsense especially dancing or Reverend Shaw Moore will condemn your very soul to Satan.  He has this crazy-ass daughter named Ariel. Not the mermaid, although they do have a lot in common.  Like difficulties getting along with their fathers, wanting to get out of their small towns or oceans, red boots, red hair, no legs, skinny legs.  That reminds of the scene where Ariel and Chuck have a fight because he has finally figured out that she likes Ren.  It took him a long time, because Chuck is, well, dumb.  Rusty, one of Ariel’s friends, (played by Sarah Jessica Parker-now we know where Carrie Bradshaw lived before she moved to NYC) said “Chuck never did have all his dogs barking.”  Hee, hee.  That’s pretty dumb.  Anyway, they are fighting and Chuck says “I guess you’ll wrap those skinny legs around anyone.”  Great line, but it hurt me almost as much as it hurt Ariel.  I cannot tell you how many times jealous, angry ex-boyfriends have said that exact same thing to me. I’m okay.  So then Chuck gets all mean and nasty and hits her, but man she doesn’t give up.  She gets up and goes all Carrie Underwood on his truck.


Okay, anyway, if you have not seen this movie in awhile, you should really watch it.  It is still a good movie with some great songs.  Of course Footloose by Kenny Loggins, Holding Out forA Hero by Bonnie Tyler, Dancing in the Sheets by Shalamar, The Girl Gets Around by none other than Slammy Hagar.   Remember that song is on when Ariel (played by Lori Singer-whatever happened to that skinny chick?  Anyone know?  Get back to me on that one) is straddling the two trucks heading down the highway almost hitting an oncoming diesel.  Let me tell you this is not as easy as it seems.  I mean first you have to like round up two really good drivers, stretch and get limber, psych yourself up and last but certainly not least, smoke like a ton of crack. 


I must discuss the fashions in this show.  Pretty bad.  What is up with all the high water, high-waisted jeans.  Did we really dress like that?  Yikes.  But nobody rocks high-waisted, tight, acid washed Lee jeans like the Bacon.  Speaking of the Bacon, did anyone remember that he had quite a bulge?  Especially in that scene where he is dancing at the mill,  I mean his sausage was smoking. Get it sausage-bacon-get it?  It’s a wiener reference. 


Let’s Hear It for the Boys is another really good song.  It is playing when Ren is trying to teach Willard (Chris Penn, rest in peace) to dance.  The boots on the bleachers scene is totally awesome.  I am going to throw in a Terry J. reference even though some people will argue with me about the similarities between Kevin Bacon and Terry J., but I still see it.  However, Willard reminds me of Troy B. (If you didn’t go to high school with me, then you probably don’t know Terry J. and Troy B. so consider yourselves lucky and bear with me one this one.)  So, in my mind, (which is a scary place) I keep picturing Terry J. trying to teach Troy B. to dance.  In my dreams.  Okay, so anyway, I think the Reverend has more to worry about than some dance.  Is it just me or did anyone notice that Ren and Willard were getting a little to close during those dance lessons?? Probably just me. But there is a scene where they are skipping and dancing and doing somersaults in a field of wildflowers.  Says love to me.


Okay, so here is my favorite scene.  Let me break it down for you:


They actually get to have a prom.  I think it was because Ren was all up in the Rev’s face quoting scriptures at the Town Hall meeting and proved that God does in fact approve of dancing. 


 Almost Paradise is playing at the prom at the flour mill and no one is dancing and the camera is panning the crowd and I almost cried to see all those sweet, innocent, country kids just sitting in the their fine prom wear too scared to dance and I am feeling all sentimental for my prom and remembering what a great dancer I was and then, dude in the blue tux is picking his nose.  I mean not just a subtle little flick the boogie away, but digging like nobody’s business.  Yuck, I am so over this. 


If it was up to me those dumb, non-dancing, fashion-challenged, nose-pickin’ country kids would never have a prom, a dance, a square dance, a mixer, a barn raisin’, a cow milkin’, nothin’.  I mean the blue tux is bad enough, but picking the snoz at the prom.  How disgusting.


I almost forgot about the final fight scene when Willard and Rusty show up and Willard promises not to fight (he is a Penn), but Chuck (Ariel’s ex) shows up too.  Chuck and his goons start punching Willard. Then Ren shows up and Chuck says something like “Here he is… Mr. Dance Fever.” Chuck is so dumb. Kevin Bacon is not Mr. Dance Fever that was, uh, like Danny Terrio.  Rusty (sjp) was right.  Chuck doesn’t have all his dogs barking or cats meowing or cows mooing or ducks quacking.  I think you get my point. 


Then Ren and Willard proceed to kick ass.  Then they go in to the prom and …you guessed it… they dance.  Nothing says I just kicked some ass like a snappy kick ball change.  Okay, so now all the country kids are dancing, everyone is happy, that’s the end, yippee.


All in all, this is a good movie.  I have to admit that I did get up and dance a little.  And you know what?  I still got it.


Oh, I forgot to mention.  Did you know this movie was based on actual events that occurred in Elmore City, OklahomaOklahoma  Rocks!!! 


Here’s a clip just in case you need a visual reminder of this awesome movie:


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Maybe I’m Just Like My Mother, She’s Never Satisfied

I have to share something with you.  Last night as I was flipping around the channels trying to find something to watch, I came across one of the most inspiring and pivotal movies of our times.  This movie had such a huge impact on my life, it changed me forever.  That movie is “Purple Rain”.  “Purple Rain” made me realize that I would never be able to wear a corset, garter belt and high heels.  Apollonia ruined it for every young girl in America who had dreams of wearing their lingerie on stage.  So I threw out all my lingerie.  No one would ever rock that look like Apollonia.  Well except… for…well…maybe  Madonna, but I digress.


But seriously, this is still a really great movie.  I mean the acting leaves a lot to be desired, but the music is awesome.  Purple Rain, When Doves Cry, and even Morris Day’s The Bird with that weird flap-your-arms-like-wings dance all still great songs.  Best line from The Bird is “girl, you ain’t to fat to fly”.  Classic.  Even Where is My Lover?  Remember Wendy and Lisa?  “Is the water ready?”  They were sexy and hip lesbians before it was sexy and hip to be lesbians.  They were lesbians weren’t they?


Anyway, I just wanted to share my favorite scene with you.  Most people won’t remember this scene, but I think it’s the best.  Let me break it down for you:


It’s right after Apollonia’s lingerie clad performance of I’m a Sex Shooter at The Taste. Apollonia and Morris are in the parking lot drinking from Morris’s silver flask.  They are drunk as most people tend be when drinking from a silver flask in a dark parking lot.  All the sudden the hear the “vroom, vroom” (my attempt at motorcycle sounds) and then The Kid shows up on his motorcycle and runs Morris down and he’s like to Apollonia “GET ON!” and she tries not to, but no woman can resist the magic that is Prince.


So he takes her down somewhere like under the train tunnels or somewhere seedy looking.  She still has on her lingerie and she tries cover herself and he’s like “uh no” and tries to kiss her and she slaps him and he knocks her to the ground and is about to hit her and then he stops because he has moment where he realizes he is “just like his father” (you know, the wife beater). 


So she jumps up and throws the big ol’ silver hoop earring at him.  The earring that he gave her as a token of his affection.  This is not like he said “here baby I bought you some earrings.”  No, this is the almost-sterling-silver-hoop (probably from Claire’s) that he took out of his own precious tiny little ear and gave to her.  And Prince is like “uh, no she din’t”.  And you can tell he is thinking that he could forgive her for a lot of things.  Like going with Morris, singing in her lingerie and even her terrible singing (too bad Prince and Vanity broke up because at least she could sing) but there is no way he can forgive her for throwing his almost-sterling-silver-hoop-most-likely-from-Claire’s-earring, in the dirt.   I love it.


So thanks for letting me share this little walk down purple memory lane with you.  I was never a huge fan of the Royal Purple One but the songs from this movie are just too good and he is just so damn tiny.  


I wonder if they had to get like a kids motorcycle so he wouldn’t look like a munchkin or hurt his tiny little self…


Here is a clip that I found.  The video is not of the best quality, but it does highlight some of the best scenes:

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