Dirty Dancing Movie Review
If I’d ever seen Dirty Dancing before, it was long, long ago in a memory far, far away. I knew it starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey and involved dancing and mud or dirt or something, but that’s about it. So 30 years after its release, given that the movie has been re-released in a new Blu-ray and Digital HD package, I decided to give this classic a twirl to determine whether it actually is the classic it’s known to be.
In Dirty Dancing, Patrick Swayze plays a somewhat angry but well-intentioned dance instructor who is the perfect man in the eyes of the father of the teenage girl he sweeps off her feet: rugged, dashing, rebellious, with limited income potential and at least a decade older. Jennifer Grey plays the teenage girl, who immediately falls in love with him despite constant verbal abuse and plenty of dramatic baggage.
You can’t blame her. I’m a straight male, and I would have slept with Patrick Swayze, too.
Despite the slim likelihood of them working out in real life, Swayze and Grey have terrific chemistry together and by the end of the movie, director Emile Ardolino has you hook, line and sinker: you want them to just strip down and make sweet, sweet love on that stage in front of everyone, parents included.
Dirty Dancing is a consistently good movie, one that doesn’t seem like the generic and melodramatic romances we get today—the development of the pair’s relationship feels real (neither chase nor fawn after each other like dopey, love-struck children), both have defined, grounded characters, and the film touches on topics like class and even abortion in ways that don’t feel forced or gimmicky.
The music is stellar, the dancing is sexy, the dirt is dirty. Swayze is great, Grey is wonderful, and Dirty Dancing lives up to its classic status.
The Blu-ray includes two newly released interviews with Patrick Swayze and a featurette, as well as previously released features that include multiple audio commentaries, featurettes, outtakes, deleted scenes, music videos and more.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.