Dirty Dancing is not really dirty

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March 25, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle

DD1Dirty Dancing still dirty?
By Haley C.

Dirty Dancing
Emile Ardolino
Great American Films Limited Partnership (1987)

Twenty-seven years later and people are still swooning over 1987’s Dirty Dancing that follows two young people fall in love in the summer of ’63.
Dirty Dancing stars Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze and takes place in the summer of 1963. Dirty Dancing follows Frances Houseman (Grey), more commonly known as “Baby” as she and her family take a trip to the Kellerman resort’ where Baby will meet the bad boy Johnny Castle (Swayze). It is a summer filled with secrets, lies, forbidden love and learning about who you really are. Emile Ardolino directs a film that leaves people wanting to have the time of their life.
The actors in this film played their parts perfectly. Both Grey and Swayze had trained and performed as dancers at different points in their career so they knew what they were doing when it came to following Kenny Ortega’s choreography. There is a scene at the end, where it seems as if everything is finally on its way to be being right, and Swayze and Grey look at one another and in that moment, the connection they share makes viewers feel as if the pair are truly in love.
Ardolino makes viewers feel as if they have traveled back in time to 1963. Camera shots, dialogue and the music they use throughout the movie create a feeling as if you really are in a different time. At different points throughout the movie, times when confrontation has either taken place, or something stressful is going on the characters are often outside, in a wide open space so it seems as if they are almost isolated and you hear nature sounds behind the dialogue. Oppositely when the scenes that have “dirty dancing” in them there are a lot of people in a small room, it is very loud and the room is smoky; it adds a grungy, dirty feeling to the scenes.

They aren’t really many special affects throughout the film, but music is a huge tool used throughout the whole thing. The soundtrack was very powerful, and added to the story. The music that was playing often relayed the way the characters acted around one another. When Baby and Johnny were just starting to dance together the music was very classical and strict, but as time went on it got looser and more fun to be around. In this movie that is all about dancing, the music is almost a character in itself.

Dirty Dancing is a movie that has been loved for decades, and as a person who wasn’t DD2even born when the movie came out I can feel the magic and fall in love with the characters just like people who watched it when it first came out. I think watching it now is almost more interesting than watching it when it first came out because the movie is called Dirty Dancing, and while it is about a couple falling in love; a big part of the movie is classical, ballroom dancing verses dancing that is more provocative or “dirty dancing” as they call it. The thing about watching it now is; you ask yourself, would the dancing that happens in the movie still be considered dirty dancing today? Whether it is or not it a matter of opinion, but the movie still warms the heart of the young and the old.

Haley C is a grade 12 student who watches likes to watch movies; usually based on books, or ones that are old and loved by many.

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