Posts tagged cynthia rhodes

The fever still burns…NOT!!!

Dear John,

 

I have just seen “Staying Alive” the 1983 sequel to one of your best movies ever, “Saturday Night Fever” and all I have to say is…what are you doin’ Johnny? 

 

You romanced me with great hits like “Grease”, “Saturday Night Fever”, and “Urban Cowboy”.  I loved you when you were “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble” even though I couldn’t touch you or I would kill you.  I forgave you and cried for you in “Carrie”.  (What a whack job that one was.)  I didn’t think Vinnie Barbarino was stupid.  I never saw “Moment to Moment”.  I thought “Blow Out” was okay.  But this, “Staying Alive”, I can not and will not overlook.  My heart is broken and I blame Sylvester Stallone and Scientology.  Oh sure, our love would be rekindled many years later because of a little film called “Pulp Fiction”, but for now, it’s OVER!!!!!

 

I get the concept.  It’s been six years since “Saturday Night Fever” and Tony Manero has moved to Manhattan looking for his big break.  Tony is working as a dance instructor and a waiter.  Cynthia Rhodes stars as his girlfriend Jackie and he treats her like crap.  Hello?   Remember how bad he treated Annette??? 

 

So anyway, Tony lands a role in this musical production called “Satan’s Alley” starring Laura played by Finola Hughes.  (Remember her from General Hospital?  I think her name was Anna and she was married to Robert Scorpio?  Didn’t she have some sort of scar on her face that was fake and she pealed it off like one of those window cling thingies?  Is that right?  Any of it?  Someone please let me know.)  Laura’s character is just awful.  She reminds me of some snippy-snappy spoiled little British lap dog as she barks lines like “We met.  We made it.  What did you expect?  True love?  Everybawdy uses everybawdy .”  

 (Say that in your head in a British accent for the full dramatic effect.)

 

I think the name of the show, “Satan’s Alley”, is a bit ironic and yet very appropriate because after watching this movie I feel like I have been to Hell and back.  Also, I consider Satan to be none other than…Sylvester Stallone.  Why do I hate everyone’s favorite boxer you ask?  Let me break this down for you!   Because he directed, produced and wrote this piece of crap.  I don’t know why he wasn’t busy making Rocky 5,041 or something.  I personally think he saw you, John, as his competition and tried to KO you right out of the business.  

 

This is totally Sly’s film.  He even put his brother, Frank in it.  At least there’s no big, ole blonde Brigitte. He definitely influenced the fashions in this film-a whole lot of leather, fur and my favorite, shiny Lycra.  Sly himself even shows up in the movie in a big fur coat.  Puleez. 

 

Okay, so Tony and Laura have this supposed intense dancing chemistry.  Whatever.  So Tony decides he wants the lead role in the show and asks Jackie to help him.  So he steals the lead and becomes the star of the show.  Right.  This is sooo believable.  Tony “won-one-disco-contest” Manero from Brooklyn beats out classical trained dancer in less than five minutes. 

 

I will say this John, you have some funny lines.  Like when you are working as a waiter (you looked good by the way in your little tuxedo ensemble) and this girl keeps ordering all these drinks and she ask you “Do you know why I order so many drinks, Tony?” and you say “I dunno.  Maybe you’re an alcoholic.”  Heehee.  That’s funny.  Her response is “I just love to watch you walk, Tony.  I just love to watch you walk.”  Hmmmmm…That line sounds a little familiar.

 

Here is my favorite scene.  Let me break it down for you:

 

Right after Tony’s triumphant Broadway debut and he is leaving the cast party and Jackie asks where he’s going and he says “I want to strut.”  And he struts right out into Times Square to Staying Alive. 

 

That’s it.  The best part of this movie is the last minute.   Here it is:

 

 http://youtube.com/watch?v=rpbleJcIfZY&feature=related

 

So that’s what I want you to do John is just strut right out to the curb before I kick you there.  It’s over.  Done.  Keep going.  Don’t look back.  Don’t let the door hit you on your cute-little-Lee-jean-covered-ass.  Oh, uh, are you really going?  Oh, okay.  Good.  I’m soooo glad. 

 

Good riddance…

 

…so long loser

 

…bye, bye

 

…call me.

 

Love,

 

Your Hopelessly Devoted and Seriously Delusional and Somewhat Twisted Former #1 Fan 

 

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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:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k4FhVLKyBA&feature=related

 

 

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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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54a9OGWR9Gw

So watch and enjoy.

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