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5 reasons why 'Dirty Dancing' is the most overrated movie of our time



Dirty dancing

We all love and will miss the late Patrick Swayze. I have zero doubt in my mind that he was truly one of Hollywood's good guys without a cruel bone in his body. The love he showed for his wife, his colleagues and his fans was without equal. And the way he fought his battle with pancreatic cancer -- while calmly fighting off tabloid reports about his health -- was dignified beyond compare.

And likewise, I'm sure a lot of his fans will be loading up their Netflix queues in coming weeks with Swayze classics such as Road House, Ghost and even Donnie Darko.

But at the risk of setting the '80s world on fire, I'm here to make a simple point: 1987's Dirty Dancing is not a very good movie. Sure, it made Swayze famous. But our boy Patrick was practically already there anyway after roles in the Outsiders and Red Dawn.

As always, I've boiled down my argument to five simple points.


5. THE ACTING IS AWFUL: Swayze is great - most of the time. So is Jerry Orbach as Baby's dad. But everyone else -- Jennifer Grey included -- is a horrible parody of a cliched '60s character. It's like a Mad Men satire set at a mountain vacation retreat.

4. THE MUSIC IS TIRESOME: Face it, period music doesn't usually work. (Test: Does anyone still own the soundtrack to The Big Chill? Of course not). And then throwing in two contemporary tunes -- She's Like The Wind and The Time of My Life -- just confounds it more.

3. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, JOHNNY CASTLE: Are you going to be a tough guy? ("Yeah, it takes a real saint to ask Daddy.") Or a taskmaster? ("Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space.") Or are you going to roll over in marshmallow fashion every 15 minutes? ("I mean, the reason people treat me like I'm nothin' is because I'm nothin'.")

2. THE DIALOG IS CREEPY: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner" might be the oddest-yet-most-famous line in cinema history. But so is "Go back to your playpen, Baby" and "My God, it's Cleopatra. I feel like such an asp."

1. IT'S THE ULTIMATE CHICK FLICK: A good chick flick puts something in there for the men. A little gratuitous frontal nudity. Some laughs. A kickin' soundtrack. Dirty Dancing offers none of it. It offers ... dancing. The kind of dancing that no normal male would ever attempt. There's lots of lovin' ... some touchin' ... but no squeezin'! I totally get it that females love this movie. But excuse the other half of the population if we'd rather watch Point Break instead.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:51pm]


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