Love Dirty Dancing? I love it so much I bought the second soundtrack: More Dirty Dancing. This had such hits as “Lifts in the Lake” and “De Todo Un Poco.” Yes!
I swooned over Johnny’s back muscles as he twisted around with no shirt on. I wished Johnny taught me how to feel the rhythm by putting my hand on his heart while he goes, “Gu-gung.” I wished I was the one he was lip-syncing song lyrics to. That should have been me on stage, swinging my dress around while Johnny danced up the aisle to “The Time of My Life.”
If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that Good Rich Girls love Poor Bad Boys. And Johnny Castle is one bad ass. He says “real” when he means “really.” He wears a lot of black, sometimes leather. He wears sunglasses inside. When he is mad, he can’t pronounce “th” so it’s “You’re not wort it.” When he locks the keys in the car, he doesn’t call for Roadside Assistance. He kicks a little pole out of the ground and smashes a window with it. Oh yeah. Bad boy.
I first watched Dirty Dancing when I was 12, and have seen it many times. I last saw it a few nights ago, having not watched it for well over five years. And I have made a momentous discovery. You see, there is a big difference between watching this movie as a 12 year old, and watching it as a mother of 2.
For one thing, I now wonder if that was the best name they could have come up with. “Dirty Dancing” now sounds so, well, dirty. A bit unsavoury. Plus when Baby first walks into the staff quarters and sees them dancing, I could not stop laughing. To use a fantastic Aussie expression: it was piss funny. Because really, have you ever ever seen a dance floor where everyone is coupled up and every single couple, and I mean every single one, is dry rooting? Have you? No. You have not.
Watching it this time around, I really felt for Dr Houseman and his big doggy eyes. He used to be the baddy trying to keep Baby and Johnny from each other. But I now feel his pain. If you thought your daughter was bonking some guy who wore a bracelet that had just got his dance partner pregnant before sending her off for a dodgy abortion, would you be thrilled? No.
And I can’t believe I barely noticed Lisa, Baby’s sister. She is so cool. She has great lines, like “Has anyone seen my beige iridescent lipstick?” Her singing steals the show in the talent contest. She is tone deaf and I love her.
Of course the big gift Dirty Dancing has given us does not involve dancing, music or love with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. No. Since 1988, every time someone has carried a watermelon, they say, “I carried a watermelon.” No other movie can make such a claim.