thatcow

Almost Timeless

Dirty Dancing has a certain amount of significance in my life from back in 1987 when it first came out, and I can remember the discount theater I first saw it in and the exact circumstances of that night. When I finally got myself a VCR, the VHS tape is one of those that I nearly wore out. After my viewing habits changed somewhat, I've seen it on cable and found I can close my eyes and still know exactly what's about to happen on the soundtrack. Sometimes that kind of rabid dedication indicates something about the quality of the film. Sometimes it indicates something about that rabid viewer.

But Dirty Dancing is a great movie. The script is mostly a wonder, fitting the plot together perfectly without any of the contortions that produce that manipulated feeling. Emotions carry us from scene to scene, the actors all giving just the right touch that we don't realize it's acting at all. I'm not that into dance or anything, but the dance sequences are important and well executed, and works into a current of sensuality in the film, which is sexy but not lurid, and fits the theme of a loss of innocence that's still, essentially, pretty innocent when you look at it.

But no, it's not perfect. In movies, the characters don't always talk to each other like they do in real life - frankly, most dialog from the real world would be boring most of the time. We are used to hearing the reader's digest version, shorter but still believable. There's a few times where things don't quite match up in the dialog. More glaring to me is the fact that, amidst a very well done - and meaningful - period soundtrack, several contemporary songs are snuck in and they stick out like a sore thumb. It's a shame they'd spoil the movie with a marketing decision. Some will consider the ending too Hollywood and upbeat, but I disagree. I'll admit some hokeyness, but it works for me. Maybe it'll work for you.

Was this review helpful to you?

Full profile for Dirty Dancing
Review: I had the nap of my life. star2/10 mastadonfarm
Review: The time of my life...? star7/10 SillyconJester

Latest Articles
login to submit an article
SongCatcher
A Film Review
2006-03-10 06:51:39... CheriLacy

The Lazy Moviewatcher's Top... Something of 2004
Despite being busy watching all of 2003's movies at home, this reviewer did actually hit the theater a few times this year
2004-12-30 22:39:13... andrew

2003 Awards Tracker
So many awards, so much recognition - it's amazing how these people don't develop an ego
2004-01-29 21:45:11... andrew

How to set up a cheap home theatre
Constant upgrades and a host of revolving standards make the home theatre market hard to decide when to jump in.
2003-05-27 17:52:42... mastadonfarm


Popular Reviews
submit a review here
61*
star8/10 andrew

Latest Reviews
submit a review here