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Film Flashback– Dirty Dancing

September 5, 2011

I was home this weekend and Dirty Dancing was on ABC Family, so of course, I watched it.  It is definitely one of those movies that I will sit down and watch every time it comes on TV.


I have so much love for this movie.  I mean, I love dancing, so there’s my connection right there.  But, I also have lots of fond memories of watching that movie when I was 8 or 9 at my best friend Courtney’s house during sleepovers.  We would try to re-create the iconic last dance and would use the bar stools in her kitchen and balance on our stomachs to simulate the lifts.  I got fed up with that eventually though, because I always got stuck dancing Johnny’s part because I was taller.  And dancing the guys part of the mambo routine in Dirty Dancing is so much less fun.

And there are so many things to love about that movie– Jerry Orbach!  Emily Gilmore from Gilmore Girls playing the mom!  The ridiculous hula song that Lisa sings!  “She’s like the Wind” by Patrick Swayze!

But, I also got to thinking about how insanely contrived the plot of the movie is… Baby and Johnny fall in love while he teaches her the 2 minute dance routine he performs at another random hotel so she can fill in for Penny who has to go get an abortion.  What?!  And how did a movie that has an abortion as a central plot feature end up being a family friendly film I watched at sleepovers (although I also used to watch Pretty Woman at sleepovers, which is also pretty non-family friendly, but that’s a story for another time)?  Also, I am pretty sure I didn’t know what an abortion was when I was 8, so I really wonder what the heck 8-year-old-me thought was going on?

Other mysteries of Dirty Dancing:

-It’s set in the early 60s, yet half the time people are dressed like it’s 1987?

-What parent just gives their kid $250 (in 1963 money!) when they don’t know what it is for?

-Johnny got fired and left Kellerman’s, yet when he comes in at the end and steals the mic, everyone just clears the stage and lets him dance?  I guess Kellerman’s doesn’t have bouncers?

What is your favorite part of Dirty Dancing?  Have you ever watched a movie from your childhood and realized that the plot really doesn’t make any sense?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 2:32 am

    Oh man, I love it so much. This totally cracked me up. My favorite random line is when Lisa says “Where is my beige iridescent lipstick?” Who wears beige lipstick? Was that a trend in the 60s??

    Fun fact: One of my dance teachers (from when I was in high school) was one of the camp employees in all the dance scenes!!

    • September 6, 2011 11:11 am

      I gotta say I am glad that beige iridescent lipstick has not come back in style (whether from the 60s or 80s?). Hopefully, it stays in the past!

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