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Dirty Dancing (2017) – An Entertaining Romance for a New Generation

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing Review

A mixed bag of reviews tends to surround the televised remakes of musical and dance classics. NBC and Fox have made a mark with remakes of The Sound of Music and Grease, respectively. ABC joined the phenomenon by touching a film many consider the quintessential “dance classic,” Dirty Dancing.

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During the summer of 1963, Baby Houseman (Abigail Breslin) grows up. As the baby of her family, she’s used to the nickname and is happiest being “Daddy’s Little Girl.” Older sister Lisa (Sarah Hyland) prepares to find a proper husband so she can be a housewife. By contrast, Baby is book smart, and her impending departure to college makes her father proud. Dr. Houseman (Bruce Greenwood) is a faithful family man but lost in his work, and no longer realizes what’s really important. In the hopes of recapturing their family, his wife (Debra Messing) presses for a summer vacation to the camp where they met.

During their vacation, Baby becomes infatuated with the dance instructor, a leather-jacket-sporting-motorcycle-riding, “bad boy” named Johnny (Colt Prattes). When she becomes unexpectedly entangled in his life and that of his dance partner, Penny (Nicole Scherzinger), Baby’s summer – and life, is never the same.

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Generally speaking, when it comes to televised remakes, opinions tend to shift towards the negative side. Then there’s me. I’m forever on the unpopular opinion side of the “debate,” and fully admit to enjoying the remakes I’ve seen. This extends to Dirty Dancing. Prior to its airing, I purposely kept away from reviews but had seen whispers that this remake did not receive favorable raves.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner!

To be fair, this is imperfect. Nothing is “the same” as the original (which is a classic I like), but that’s part of what gives this version its unique voice. The core of the script is good. In theory, the epilogue is the right idea however its execution missed the “right note” of where to stop. Leaving it open to interpretation might have been better. That said, I do admire that this was about Baby’s journey. It’s about her growing up, finding a voice and becoming a person outside of who she thought she should be.

Dirty Dancing

Yet the story is about so much more. It’s about fathers and daughters, the bond of sisters, and a teen coming of age. There’s a lot going on beyond the obvious, which is the heartbreak of first love. Some of the performers impressed me, others fall short. Along with the talents of veterans Bruce Greenwood and Debra Messing, one of the actors who did impress is Abigail Breslin. She plays Baby with the right mixture of naivety and confidence, and I admired how she played the character. Despite my reservations going in (and I had them), the credits rolled leaving me impressed.

If you go into this with the mindset nothing will replace the “icon” (the original), you’d be right. However, if you walk (or waltz?) into this with some sense of leniency, and an open mind, this might surprise you. By its conclusion, I was glad to have invested the 3 hours. Perhaps my cinematic tastes are “simple,” but if there’s entertainment, sometimes that’s the best kind of story.

Where to Watch: You can stream Dirty Dancing on ABC.com, or check streaming services like Sling TV or Hulu.com. You can also purchase a digital copy on iTunes.

Content Note: While not explicit, there are adult situations (abortion, teen sex) in this production. Nothing goes beyond a PG-13 rating.


Photos: ABC / Lionsgate Television 

OVERALL RATING

three and a half corset rating

“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful

friendship.”

ROMANCE RATING

four heart rating

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

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By on May 26th, 2017

About Rissi JC

Rissi is a self-diagnosed Bookaholic and TV fandom addict. She’s currently an avid blogger and reader who enjoys interacting with readers, and often dreams about finishing her first novel. When not writing or reading, she can be found working as an INSPYs advisory board member or contributing to e-zines. Her scribbles are housed on her blog Finding Wonderland (https://www.rissiwrites.com).

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4 thoughts on “Dirty Dancing (2017) – An Entertaining Romance for a New Generation”

  1. I confess I’m a little afraid to watch this. Mainly because I have seen the reviews and they are scathing – and the memes amusing. But like you, I tend to love the things other people tear apart. I’ll make some time and give this a go.

    Reply
    • I gave it a go…..and enjoyed it. I really like this person’s comments about the show.
      The time I spent was well worth it.

      Reply
    • I do hope you enjoy this one, Naazneen! I tend to go against the norm (have for as long as I can remember!) when it comes to liking things the masses despise. And I’m okay with that. 🙂 If I’m being entertained, I can see past its flaws and enjoy it for that reason along. Let me know what you think of this one if you see it!

      Reply

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