Dirty Dancing (Ardolino, 1986)


“Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” The iconic line from one of the cheesiest dancing films made before Mamma Mia. Everyone knows that Dirty Dancing is the movie you put on when it’s a cold night and you want a film to make you laugh and get up to join along with some of the dance moves. Sadly, no tears are shed by Johnny (played by Patrick Swayze) as he falls in love with ‘Baby’ (played by Jennifer Grey) and realises his true potential and that there is someone out there who loves him for who he is: a summer dance instructor. If there was ever an ACTUAL sequel, not Dirty Dancing 2, maybe tears may arise then when he realises that it was just a summer romance and true love doesn’t conquer all.

“Go back to your playpen, Baby. ” Emile Ardolino has directed a good film in which you feel like you too are experiencing a summer romance and rebelling against Mommy and Daddy wishes. Baby is always wearing dresses in pastel colours and doesn’t seem to be noticed by her own generation to Johnny, who has the ever classic bad-boy persona who parents on a whole just seem to instantly dislike, seems to be an accurate portrayal of upper-class Americans in the 60’s. Near tears do come from Baby’s dad as he realises that his youngest daughter is growing up, falling in love and having a mind of her own. The POV shot where Baby sees “dirty dancing” for the first time as the camera focuses on couples around the room and the reaction shot that follows has to be the one of the best scenes shot throughout the film. We can literally feel Baby’s’ disgust and awkwardness as she wonders how much she has been missing out on life.

If anything is taken away from this film, let it be that we do not see a male actually cry. Dirty Dancing is a good film to watch with the girls or your boyfriend if you manage to persuade him as a smile is always guaranteed at the end.