‘Dirty Dancing’ better than I remembered

May 2, 2007

Tonight I hit the theater to catch a special viewing of the timeless classic Dirty Dancing in honor of the film’s 20th anniversary.  As one friend described it, the experience was more intense that I remembered it.

Johnny CastleTo be honest I can’t remember the first time I saw Dirty Dancing.  I know I was a wide-eyed teen, but I can’t actually remember the theater experience.  But the movie has still become one of my favorites

For years I’ve seen it in my living room on VHS, DVD or cable television.  But those viewings were subject to the interruptions of life.  Tonight, I got to lose myself in the movie again.

Dirty Dancing turns 20On the big screen Patrick Swayze was sexier than ever.  Jennifer Grey reminded me of my once youthful figure (before children, even before the freshman 15).  The dance scenes were so hot you could almost feel the steam come off the screen.  And the music still rocked.  You could hear the theater full of people sing along.  We all knew every word.  And when Johnny showed up at the end and said “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” the theater exploded with cheers. 

I’d love to say that it was like watching it for the first time again.  But lost was my teenage innocence.  Like Baby, I’ve grown up.  The blossoming romance was still beautiful to watch.  The dancing still made me want to get up and dance.  But I’ve already found my “Johnny.”  He’s the one who stayed at home tonight with the kids so I could have this little fling with my youth.  And he’s the one that makes me want to be a better person.

Thanks Dirty Dancing for the memories.


‘Dirty Dancing’ turns 20, hits the big screen again

April 27, 2007

In honor of its 20th anniversary, Dirty Dancing will return to theaters for two nights only.  You’ll be able to watch Johnny (Patrick Swayze) and Baby (Jennifer Grey) have the time of their life on May 1st and May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. only in selected theaters.  To find a theater in your area showing this ’80s gem, visit www.dirtydancing.com.

Dirty Dancing turns 20I recently wrote a post about my Top 10 ’80s movies and of course Dirty Dancing was on it.  This movie has been one of my favorites, but I didn’t realize the extent of its impact until 2000.  That year, a 19-year-old intern from Italy spent five months working for me in the tourism industry.  Until she had time to make friends here, I showed her around on the weekends.  When I asked her what she wanted to do most, I was a little shocked to hear that she wanted to watch Dirty Dancing in English.  She’d seen it many times in Italian — apparently it’s just as popular there as it is here — but wanted to watch it as it was originally recorded.  In addition to the viewing, I made sure she went home with an American version of the movie.

Similarly, I had always thought of Dirty Dancing as a chick flick.  My husband has never shown an interest in it (maybe he just doesn’t want to watch it for the 250th time).  But according to a post in CinemaBlend, it’s very popular with the men as well.  However, I’m sure for different reasons.  😉

Nobody puts Baby in the cornerIf the movie wasn’t enough, Dirty Dancing has moved to the stage, according to USA Today.  In 1994, the musical opened in Australia to much acclaim.  Since then the musical has toured in Germany and London.  It’ll be in Toronto this spring and the USA in 2008.  The writer and co-producer of the movie version of Dirty Dancing, Eleanor Bergstein also wrote and created the musical as her answer to requests for a sequel.  To sweeten the pot, the stage version has added scenes.

A coming-of-age movie about a timeless romance with great music and hot dance moves, Dirty Dancing, which was originally released on August 21, 1987, has definitely influenced several generations.  I think its just as popular today as when I first saw it.  You’d be hard press to find someone that doesn’t know what “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” means.  The movie has been referenced in numerous other movies and TV shows. 

Johnny and BabyMy favorite reference, however, has to be in this year’s How I Met Your Mother when Barney flashes back to the first time he had sex and describes it as a scene from Dirty Dancing.

Well, we will all be able to get our Dirty Dancing fix this summer.  In addition to the re-release of the film on the big screen, you’ll be able to pick up a 20th anniversary of the movie on DVD on May 8.  DVD extras included a new interview with Patrick Swayze and a tribute to the late Jerry Orbach (Law & Order) who played Baby’s father, Jake Houseman.  Orbach died in 2004.

Also being released May 8 is a newly remastered version of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack on CD.  This CD will include a bonus DVD featuring photos and music videos.

Baby carries a watermelonIn addition, Target will be featuring a whole new line of Dirty Dancing merchandise featuring everything from clothing to video games to figurines.  Personally I’m trying to decide between two t-shirts.  One says “Johnny Castle taught me all my moves” and the other says “I carried a watermelon.”  Maybe I’ll splurge and get both.

Johnny Castle, dance instructorIf you still haven’t gotten your fill of Dirty Dancing, visit Mountain Lake in Pembroke, VA where the movie was filmed for a Dirty Dancing weekend complete with dance lessons.  Do you think they could guarantee that Johnny Castle would be my instructor?  Now that could be the time of my life!

For some reason my husband turned down the opportunity to watch Dirty Dancing again, even on the big screen.  I swore not to get up and demonstrate any dance moves.  I even promised him that I wouldn’t drool too much over Patrick Swayze, but also he wouldn’t do it.  Still I had no shortage of girlfriends willing to hit the theater will me.  So I’ll be seeing you at the theaters on May 1st.  And maybe again on May 2nd.

(photos courtesy of dirtydancing.com)


Top 10 ’80s Movies I Can’t Live Without

April 24, 2007

Here are the Top 10 ’80s movies that I cannot live without.  Let me warn you this list isn’t about box office blockbusters or award-winning films.  No, these movies are hits of my youth and remind me of a time when I had few cares and was focused on the living in the moment.

This list is about those movies that I watch when I need a pick me up.  These films are what my husband calls “sick day” movies — you know, you watch them when you are sick.  These movies are the ones I watch when I don’t want to be challenged intellectually, when I don’t want to be educated, when I don’t want to be wowed with their artsy perspective — just when I just want to be entertained.

Here’s my Top 10 ’80s movies:

The Lost Boys1. The Lost Boys (1987)
What’s not to love about this teen angst movie filled with sexy vamps.  The movie’s tagline says it all:  “Party all night.  Sleep all day.  Never grow old.  Never die.  It’s fun to be a vampire.”

2.  The Breakfast Club (1985)
The original brat pack movie, proved that we are all misfits.  It didn’t matter what click we belonged to or what walk of life we came from, the teenage years were hard on us all.  And this movie made me very thankful that my high school never had Saturday detention.

3.  St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)
In high school we all dreamed about the time when we would finally be out of high school and living the “high life.”  This movie taught us that growing up isn’t as easy as it looks.  Now looking back, this movie makes me appreciate my life — no matter how much I’ve screwed up, at least I’ve managed better than this group.

Eddie and the Cruisers4.  Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)
Although a bit obscure, this movie is one great rock ‘n roll film.  I absolutely love the music in this movie.  Who hasn’t wondered about life in a hit rock ‘n roll band?

5.  Dirty Dancing (1987)
It’s not the timeless love story that does it for me.  It’s the dancing.  I love a movie with guys that dance well — especially if one of them is Patrick Swayze!   And remember, “nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

6.  Goonies (1985)
Who doesn’t want to go on this adventure with the “goonies” with a lost pirate map through booby traps to find a hidden treasure to save their parents and their homes?  Ahh, to be that young and impetuous again . . .  And did I mention Sloth?  I’ve never look at a Baby Ruth the same again.

7.  Beetle Juice (1988)
You gotta love a movie where you cheer for the dead guys!  By and far one of Michael Keaton’s best performances.  Just the right blend of spooky, funny and imagination. 

8.  Ghost Busters (1984)
Stay Puft Marshmellow ManThe Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?  Need I say more.  Seriously, this movie had a fabulously funny cast that will have you shouting “Ghost Busters” every time you hear someone say “Who ya going to call?”

9.  Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)
No matter how bad I’m feeling, at least I’m better off than Bernie.  This movie is every working joe’s revenge for an unsatisfying job (or at least unsatisfying day on the job).

10.  Sixteen Candles (1984)
Everyone’s had a less than stellar birthday where they felt like they were forgotten.  John Hughes gives us a reason to appreciate even those birthdays in this romantic comedy about the difficulties of growing up. 

I know each of you have a list like mine.  What movies are on yours?