Quote from Francis Houseman:"That
was the summer of 1963, when everybody called me Baby, and
it didn't occur to me to mind. That was before President
Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles, when I couldn't wait
to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I'd never find a
guy as great as my dad. That was the summer we went to Kellerman's."
The basic story involves a
shy girl, Francis Houseman (Jennifer Grey), vacationing
at a Catskills resort with her parents, in 1963. When she
falls for a handsome dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Patrick
Swayze), who teaches dancing at this summer camp, and during
his time off, does Dirty Dancing with other dancers. When
one of his dance partners has to have an abortion, Francis
learns the moves, and falls in love with Johnny, winding
up in his arms in bed. She clashes with her family and shakes-up
the resort's well-defined class structure. However, each
must come to grips with responsibility and love and others'
expectations, when the summer season comes to a close. Will
they stay together, despite family turmoil, or was this
just a summer fling?
Patrick Swayze, as Johnny
Castle, is terrific as the hunky dance instructor. Swayze
is a great dancer, and handles the non-dance theatrics well
Jennifer Grey, daughter of
Joel Grey, excels as a teen girl on the verge of womanhood,
in 1963. Grey shows star power here, but seems to have had
trouble getting good scripts since. She has done a lot of
made for TV movies, and her personal life has been very
successful. She married Clark Gregg in 2001, and had a baby
girl in December, 2001.
The late Jerry Orbach, as
Dr. Jake Houseman, offered strong support as Grey's protective
father, Dr. Jake Houseman, which is understandable. Orbach,
who's been on the excellent TV drama "Law and Order",
has also had great success on Broadway ("Fantasticks,"
"Chicago," and "42nd Street"). Orbach
had given memorable performances in such films as "Prince
in the City," "F/X," and "Crimes and
A poignant, memorable scene
is when Dr. Jake Houseman confronts Johnny Castle, man to
man, concerning Castle's intentions with his daughter.
is a great date movie because of the dance sequences, the
music, and the great romantic angle, that magically transcends
socio-economic barriers. It is also concidered a chick-flick,
as it looks at romance from a female point of view.
The soundtrack features a
number of classic songs. "I've Had the Time of My Life,"
written for the movie, won the 1987 Oscar for best song.
A favorite scene involves
Grey's introduction to dirty dancing by Patrick Swayze.
The scene is exciting, sexy, and a delight to watch.
This fim is rated PG-13, (sexual
situations), and is not recommended for young teens. Parents
should watch this film with their teenagers, and discuss
the choices that Francis makes, the risks she took with
her heart, and how the romantic ending isn't realistic.
"The combination of catchy
dialogue, emotional content, brilliant (and romantic) music
and a lovely old-fashioned love story just gets my goose
bumps up, my heart pounding and my head spinning."