Dirty Dancing makes me think of the following things: love; fun; dancing (obviously!); and summer. Set in 1963, the classic film follows Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) and her relationship with Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). Baby’s family decide to spend their vacation at Kellerman’s, a family resort with organised activities and trips. Whilst there, Baby meets Johnny, an in-house professional dancer who holds lessons and leads the staff in their evening fun: ‘dirty’ dance parties. His charisma draws Baby in and, after an emergency, she has to fill in for his normal dance partner. The pair spend many hours together as Johnny teaches Baby how to dance, before they head to a neighbouring resort for their performance. They fall in love, much to the dismay of Baby’s father (Jerry Orbach). With several entertaining and emotional storylines running throughout, Dirty Dancing is the perfect summer watch.
Lively, flirty, with utterly lovable characters, Dirty Dancing‘s summer setting only aids its claim to be the ultimate movie watch for the season. Of course, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Emile Ardolino’s film also produced one of the most iconic songs of all time, ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’, heard in the closing scenes – as well as one of the most famous movie lines ever, “nobody puts baby in the corner”. Such memorable moments helped make it become a fan favourite, just as popular now as it was on release in 1987.
A comforting classic, Dirty Dancing is one of those films that always creates a warm feeling inside – a guaranteed good (summer) time whether with friends or alone, inside on the sofa or outside projected on a big screen, sober or with a couple of glasses of wine. The music is essential, the cast are perfectly chosen, and the scenery is consistently stunning. Even with all the advances of the modern day, Kellerman’s looks like a fantastic place to be during the summer sun.
The magic of this film comes in that, even if you know what’s going to happen (if you’ve seen it before, which many of us have, many times), your eyes are still glued to the screen as you watch Baby fall in love (seemingly for the first time), Johnny question whether he’s good enough for her, Baby’s clueless sister think that she’s in love, and, best of all, some amazing dancing that makes us all wish we could be as rhythmic. Even over 30 years after it first came out, Dirty Dancing still makes you wish that you were spending your summer falling in love with a professional dancer in a beautiful ’60s setting. Well, at least it does for me.
Watch the trailer below: