It was recently brought to my attention that one of my favourite movies of all time is being remade. Not a sequel… but remade. My assumption (with very little to back it up at this point, to be honest) has me believing that it will be the same storyline as the original with the same characters and setting but with new actors (and likely some script changes here and there).
Dirty Dancing is a movie that I have seen more than is probably humanly appropriate. With a 100 minute run time, I have probably dedicated anywhere between 133 to 200 hours of my life to watching this movie. It seems like a lot, but as a young girl, I had no qualms with watching the same movies over and over and over. This was one of those movies.
I just can’t picture anyone else becoming these characters.
Will I watch it? Probably. Anyone who knows me (and my movie collection) knows that there are very few song and dance movies that I haven’t seen.
Will I like it? Probably not. Much like many other 80’s remakes, it will likely be geared towards a teen, or post-HSM audience. The grit and hard hitting bits of the story line will be glossed over or removed completely. It will feature the dozens of dancers who didn’t win So You Think You Can Dance in a further attempt to legitimize the existence of the dwindling competition show.
But this is a place for all things that I love. So, for now, I’m going to ignore the fact that they are remaking a classic and become blissfully ignorant while I list my top 4 reasons why Dirty Dancing is one of the best movies ever (for me).
1. The Casting – Jerry Orbach is a dream. What a perfect father figure! His strength and vulnerability make him irreplaceable in my mind. Will likely be re-cast with Dennis Quaid who for some reason in recent movie history has become the EveryDad. (Note: after writing this, and prior to publishing, I noticed that Dennis Quaid has been cast in the re-make of Footloose. Argh)
This movie is nothing without the awkwardly natural Jennifer Grey in the lead role. She truly shines as Baby.
How could you possibly replace Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle? What actor today has the chops to match Patrick’s depiction of the crunchy-exterior-melty-inside bad boy dancer? As a true triple threat in this film, there are very few actors who even begin to qualify for this role. (She’s Like the Wind isn’t a great song, nor one of Patrick’s best works, but it’s done well enough and compliments the film leading to the closing scenes)
2. The classic quotable lines:
Among others, the original Dirty Dancing gave us these gems:
“I carried a watermelon?” – Baby
“Go back to your playpen, Baby” – Penny
“Nobody puts Baby in the corner” – Johnny
3. The re-watchability factor. As previously mentioned, I have seen this movie many many times… And every time, the final scenes (Johnny walking in, getting Baby out of the corner and dancing the crap out of Kellerman’s) give me chills/goosebumps/the strong desire to get up and dance the crap out of my living room.
4. The soundtrack is phenomenal. So many brilliant song choices. It’s done so seamlessly, it doesn’t even matter that the soundtrack blindly switches between classic and contemporary (80’s) music – it works with the story!
So please, will someone slam the door on the possibility of this remake? They re-vamped Fame and killed it to death. There is a modern take on Footloose which I’m going to grind my teeth through (they re-made the angry gymnastics shadow dance… argh!). And now the classic Dirty Dancing? When will the madness stop?
Somebody reach out and stop Hollywood while there is still time!!!