Dirty Dancing 0.0 stars

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Synopsis

A teenage girl, bound for college and the Peace Corps in the summer of '63, falls in with the "entertainment staff" at a Catskill resort, and it changes her life forever: goodbye Namibia, hello mambo. The transformation, presented as an Ugly Duckling makeover with a debouchment in Swan Lake, amounts to a fairy tale for the body-obsessed, brain-dead Eighties. A college education, as we shall see, leads only into the ideological cesspool of Ayn Rand, anyway. What particularly earmarks this movie for the young, and what stops it from expanding either its boundaries or their horizons, is its indifference to the period: its redesigning of the Sixties to better suit the Eighties. Anyone old enough, for example, to remember what infuriated adults about the actual youthful dance styles of 1963 will adduce one thing above all else: the no-touching rule of the twist and its relatives. And so the immediately striking thing about what goes on here among the representatives of Youth is very much the opposite: not just touching, but bodies braided together in tangled-vine fashion, with spontaneous grafts attempted between pelvic bones, in a style redolent of Bob Fosse at his most grossly carnal. It leaves very little, you might say, to the imagination. Or you might better say it took very little imagination to think of it in the first place. With Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, and Jerry Orbach; directed by Emile Ardolino.

Duncan Shepherd

Length: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Rated: PG-13

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