Dirty Dancing: A painful recap

I am late to the party for this one, and I apologize. I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to actually watch this remake. All it took was the poster and the apparent lack of chemistry to be like


And then I saw the first trailer and switched my reaction to


And then Twitter confirmed all of my suspicions when it previewed last week, Wanting to witness the train wreck for myself, I forced myself to watch it. Boy, what a disaster.

There are two important points to start with: first, Dirty Dancing is one of my all time favorite movies. Second, I am not someone who cannot appreciate different versions of the same thing. For example, I can like books and the movie adaptations because they are two separate interpretations. This review isn’t because I’m a purist. It’s because this is garbage.

This is going to be all spoilers because most people know the basic plot of Dirty Dancing and I can’t be responsible for ruining a story that is decades old. Let’s start with what I liked.

  1. Lisa. I think Sarah Hyland was one of the only good things about this. Not only did I enjoy her performance and growth throughout the movie, this version of Lisa was for more enjoyable than the original. When she told Robbie to stay away from her and meant it – get. it. girl.
  2. Dr. Houseman telling Robbie he had to apologize and pay Penny back after what he did and threatening to sabotage his career if he did not. Classic, and nothing less than the creep deserved.
  3. Dr. Houseman being vulnerable in the boat. I HATED the divorce storyline, but I love a man who expresses his feelings.
  4. When Baby is yelling at Johnny through the door about how she sees him and knows he cares and suddenly he’s out of the door in passion and kissing her like the world is going to end and I was ALL IN

What didn’t I like? Basically everything else about this movie

  1. All the unnecessary exposition. Ever heard of show, don’t tell? This movie was like, ‘oh, you liked the way you weren’t spoon fed details in the original? too bad here’s everything obvious explained for the audience.” Like we knew Baby was the smart one based on her interactions, and we knew Lisa wanted the more ‘traditional’ things by her behavior.
  2. The divorce story. Dr. Houseman is a SAINT and I hate any retelling where he isn’t happy to spend time mindlessly dancing with his family.
  3. The music. How dare you disrespect the iconic classic ‘She’s Like the Wind’
  4. Abigail Breslin. Look, I really like Abigail Breslin. I love all that she stands for, but I’m not convinced this was the role for her.
  5. “Next time, carry your own watermelon.” what does that even mean, Johnny?
  6. The lack of good dancing. It’s a movie about dancing, yet the dancing is mediocre at best.
  7. Penny is too nice. Listen, Nicole S(can’t spell her last name) was a great Penny and highly enjoyable to watch. But I missed her harder edge in the original.
  8. Baby wasn’t even in a corner. I’m sure it’s a metaphor, but at least in the original she was in a real corner.
  9. Patrick Swayze made you believe in his insecurities, especially around classy women wanting him. I felt none of this from this actor.
  10. I’m going to stop at this one because it might be my biggest pet peeve and also I could blast this movie all night but I’m tired and it isn’t worth my energy. They don’t end up together. Yeah I know, this is an improbable romance. In real life they don’t las, but then again I don’t see movies because they’re like my life. We want to believe that Baby and Johnny stay together against all odds and I’m fairly certain that was the creator’s vision as well. If nothing else, they should’ve met at the show and she still be single or newly divorced or whatever and they hit it off again. He just looked sad.

Ok so actually one more bonus. The characterization of Baby was weird. You didn’t see her passion or spunk shine through at all. I missed her yelling at him. They made her seem so timid and quiet and I think that was a bad call, because the passion makes her character.

Save yourself the time and don’t see this. Please.


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