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Dirty Dancing: 20th Anniversary Edition (4 stars)

(15) 100min

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For the few who don’t know the plot of Emile Ardolino’s 1987 romantic musical: it’s the summer of 1963 at Kellerman’s Holiday Resort. Misunderstood, frustrated in-house dance teacher, Johnny (an unconvincingly teenage Patrick Swayze), meets misunderstood, frustrated guest girl, Baby (a very unconvincingly teenage Jennifer Grey). Boy teaches girl the delights of hip grinding as a means to communicate aforementioned frustration when she fills in for his regular dance partner who needs time off to get a backstreet termination. Nice. Baby emerges sassier and the elders accept Johnny as a good egg, despite his throbbing pelvis.

Yeah, so Dirty Dancing is full of cringeworthy racial stereotyping, bad dialogue and a pre-teen sugar coated prurience which belies its title. But, 20 years on, Dirty Dancing still has the ability to send a generation gooey. This film’s influence is almost immeasurable; legions of girls felt their hearts beat faster as Johnny got his rocks off to ‘Do You Love Me’. It’s naff and it’s fun and worth revisiting. Not for nothing is it referred to in the trade as ‘the Star Wars for girls’.

Dirty Dancing

  • 3 stars
  • 1987
  • US
  • 100 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Emile Ardolino
  • Written by: Eleanor Bergstein
  • Cast: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes

The plot – in the summer of 1963 bad boy Johnny (Swayze) meets good girl Baby (Grey) and teaches her hip grinding, eventually winning the respect of her parents. Sure it's full of stereotyping, bad dialogue and a pre-teen sugar coated prurience, but decades on Dirty Dancing still has the ability to send a generation of…

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