Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dirty Dancing (1987) review


It's not really that bad, but it is pretty standard for the '80s.

PLOT:It's summer 1963 and Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Gray) and her family are taking a trip to Kesserman's summer resort. She's supposed to go to college after this, for her parents, her doctor dad (Jerry Orbach) especially, expect great things out of her. While there, Baby decides to take dance lessons with greaser and lead instructor, Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). When his female partner gets pregnant, Baby decides to step in and learn all the moves in time for the big show at the neighboring resort, but can she do it? Will her father be proud of her hanging around with this guy? Will they even fall in love? I'll leave you there. It's a decent plot executed pretty well.

ACTING:The acting in here was better than I expected, but still not top of the line. Jennifer Gray as Baby and Patrick Swayze as Johnny steal the show with their great chemistry. I believe they each played a great performance. The other shiners are Jerry Orbach as Dr. Jake Houseman and Cynthia Rhodes as Penny Johnson. I don't think Rhodes that great of a job playing regular parts, but when it comes to putting out a certain emotion, she does pretty well. It kind of gets on my nerves.

SCORE:The soundtrack is one of the best parts about the movie. The soundtrack includes a bunch of oldies and a few new themes. It matches the decade almost correctly, subtract the newer themes, the main theme especially ("(I've Had) the Time of My Life").

OTHER CONTENT:This movie actually isn't that bad. It's romantic, passionate, dramatic, and even somewhat fun. I don't know why it's that hated for being a chick flick. It does have a few major telltale flaws though. The whole movie seems like a fantasy story written by a teenage girl about her and a guy she likes. It just seems so typical: love on vacation, bad boy meets good girl, forbidden love. That all brings along its second flaw: it's extremely cheesy. That's kind of easy to tell anyway since it's an '80s romance, but that doesn't change the fact of the matter. The last flaw I was readily able to spot was that it was supposed to take place in the 1960s, but it contains enough of the '80s music, wardrobe, and formula that it forgets itself for a while. It gets on most people's nerves, mine included. This is just another cheesy '80s romance, but it's not the worst.

OVERALL,a good '80s romance with a pretty well executed plot, decent acting, a great soundtrack, romance, passion, drama, and even a bit of fun, but it seems like it was written by a lovestruck teenage girl, it's the same flavor of '80s cheese, and it doesn't match the decade it is set in 100% of the time.

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