Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dirty Dancing

Year 2, Day 40 - 2/9/10 - Movie #405

BEFORE: I put this on the list with a little hesitation - I mean, come on, I've seen this, right? Hasn't everyone seen this? But it's a big blank in my memory, so maybe I haven't? If I did, it sure didn't stick with me. Anyway, I need it as a transition from dance movies to romance movies, with Valentine's Day coming up.

THE PLOT: Spending the summer in a holiday camp with her family, Frances ('Baby') falls in love with the camp's dancing teacher.

AFTER: Hmmm, I guess I hadn't seen this after all. I knew some of the bits, but not the way they all fit together. Years ago, I used to work for a production company that made the music videos for the songs "Yes" and "Do You Love Me"... (I just found out that Merry Clayton, who sang "Yes", was also the famous lead back-up singer on the song "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones...)

Anyway, if "Flashdance" was a big male fantasy, then this film is a big female fantasy - it's porn for girls! Doesn't every woman wish her "first time" took place at a moutain resort, after being forced to learn steps with a hunky shirtless dance instructor?

My wife and I have been to these sort of resorts before, twice in the Poconos and once in the Catskills - and the Catskills have fallen pretty far from their heyday in the 1950's and 60's. We stayed at a German-themed resort, which was really a cross between a Bavarian beer hall and a gulag, with a mean-spirited old lady who ran the place. I didn't mind so much, since she reminded me of my grandmother, but my wife wasn't used to being given the third degree about our whereabouts after returning late in the evening. And the food was good, but there wasn't much choice - unless you count not eating, which is sort of like a choice...

The first time we went to the Poconos, we stayed in a resort similar to the one in this movie - there was nightly entertainment, and bingo, plus outdoor stuff like archery and lawn bowling. But when we asked about activities in the nearby towns, the staff asked us why we wanted to leave the resort, when everything we could want was on site. Then they started chanting "One of us, one of us..." so we bolted out of there.

Do I need to say it? Starring Swayze, Jennifer Grey, my birthday-twin Jerry Orbach, with a cameo by Wayne Knight as the resort comedian (not his first film, but darn close) and that annoying WCBS-FM DJ "Cousin" Brucie - God, I hate him.

Again, it's not my kind of film, but at least I got it off my list.

RATING 4 out of 10 bungalow bunnies

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