Film Review: ‘Dirty Dancing’

Today I thought I’d write a review of ‘Dirty Dancing’ as I have loved this film for a long time, and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback about my ‘80s film reviews in the past!

‘Dirty Dancing’ follows a young middle-class girl, Baby, on holiday with her family. It’s the early 1960s and Baby is desperate for something to happen to her- she wants to find love, find adventure, and find out what the world is like outside of her middle-class family circle.

At the holiday camp her family always go to, dance classes are a must- and Baby is soon enraptured by Johnny Castle, one of the best dancers working for the camp. He and friend Penny are the opposite to Baby and her family- fun, wild, and not concerned with breaking the rules.

Baby soon becomes involved in Johnny and Penny’s lives, and she finds herself filling in for Penny at a dance show. This involves lots of dance lessons with Johnny, and she soon finds herself falling for Johnny.

This love story is epic and exciting for Baby- if incredibly unrealistic for the viewer.

There are so many iconic scenes in this film, such as when Johnny teaches Baby to perform lifts in the lake, or that classic final dance scene right at the end of the film. The soundtrack to this film is fantastic, and for me it has such a nostalgic and memorable feel to it.

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey practice the classic lift in the water.
Picture credits here

I really like this film. It has some fantastic dance scenes, and I love the comparison between the straight-laced dance scenes allowed at the camp, and the intimate dance parties taking place behind the scenes when all the middle-class holiday makers go to bed.

This is my feel-good film, and I always watch it when I’m feeling low. The energetic, classic dance scenes never fail to make me feel good.

While I love this film, it’s definitely got a lot of weaknesses.

Putting aside the fun dance scenes and dramatic events, the film lacks a strong storyline. The acting isn’t fantastic and it’s definitely one of those films that I love to watch for the feel of it, and for the iconic dance scenes- rather than the strong storyline and acting.

The romance is also very unrealistic, and I think Johnny and Penny are a much better match than Baby and Johnny.

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey kiss in the dance studio.
Picture credits here

What did you think of my review of ‘Dirty Dancing’? What’s your favourite feel-good film? Do you have any recommendations?

Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy reading x

Picture credits here

31 thoughts

  1. When it first came out we watched it on VHS – and I donโ€™t remember anything about it except the lake practice scene and iconic dance scene.
    It was only this year that I saw it again and finally understood the plot lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is one of my go-to movies. I hadn’t seen it in full until my friend Shelby invited me to her apartment for a girls’ night when we were in college. I think I was a sophomore or junior at the time. I’ve also been to Mountain Lake in Virginia where parts of the movie were filmed!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is my favourite movie next to the The Breakfast Club. It does has some problems, and I do agree with the ones you pointed out, but it’s so timeless and such a perfect feel good movie. And as great as the dancing is I love it more for the music. I know every word to every song and anyone who watches this movie with me is signing up for a singalong. – Amber

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My daughters, granddaughter, and I have started having movie nights and are choosing some old but good movies. We just watched this recently. Great soundtrack and wonderful dancing. Also, I’m a big fan of Jerry Orbach, so seeing him is a treat. Last night we watch my choice, The African Queen. Very fun.Thanks for the post.


  5. Ah I totally relate to how you watch a film for just the feeling of it despite it having many flaws.
    Iโ€™ve heard of this film a lot but never actually watched it before. Iit seems like a light & fun watch though, so will be adding it to my films to watch list!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was always meant to watch this movie but never got around to it! Loving your 80โ€™s review ๐Ÿงก๐ŸงกI recently did a post about my feel good movies ๐ŸŽฅ! X

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this movie! Itโ€™s totally a nostalgic fave and I am blind to any flaws it may have. Itโ€™s a go-to for me when Iโ€™m feeling down, and the soundtrack is always on my playlists!

    Liked by 1 person

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