Starring: Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Jerry Orbach
Director: Emile Ardolino
Running Time: 100 mins
Dirty Dancing is an American film about a young woman who travels to a holiday resort with her family in the early 1960s, and falls in love with the charismatic dance instructor she meets there.
Surprisingly, for the ultimate chick flick, this is a pretty brilliant film. It’s got two stunning central performances, coupled with an engaging romance story and a whole host of epic dance sequences accompanied by a kicking soundtrack.
The most impressive thing about this film is that it bypasses the generic, one-dimensional chick flick stories in exchange for a genuinely interesting and dramatic romance that’s both convincing and not irritating.
Too many times have these sorts of films had unbelievably irritating female leads, and set up the entire romance story as some sort of fairytale, however this film manages to make a story with characters that are never annoying, and are human and interesting enough to actually care about, making for a much more engrossing and dramatic watch.
One of the most important reasons for this being such an engrossing film is the brilliant central performances by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. The story might be as cheesy as anything, but they put a hell of a lot of passion into their characters, and it really shows on screen, turning a generic story into one with a lot more energy and soul.
What’s more is that Swayze and Grey’s chemistry on screen is absolutely fantastic. Again, that makes the film even more passionate and powerful to watch, but the way in which they both figuratively and literally dance in tandem with each other throughout is an absolute delight to watch, making their romance all the more convincing and enjoyable.
Also, the dancing and choreography in this film is fantastic. Unlike other dance movies, where you have long dance sequences that are dull to watch and add nothing to the story, every dance scene here is as electric as the last, not only being an absolute treat to watch, but also playing a big role in developing the central relationship effectively.
Finally, this has also got an amazing soundtrack. Like everything else in this film, it fits in perfectly with the upbeat and energetic atmosphere, as well as suiting all of the dance scenes, and echoing the emotions of the characters perfectly, making this as great a film to listen to as watch.
Overall, I’ll give this a 7.8, because it’s a genuinely engrossing and convincing romantic drama with passionate performances, great dancing and a brilliant soundtrack.