Some films become so well known, or to be more accurate possess scenes and lines that people know, whether or not they have watched the whole film. The ones that come immediately to mind, include Casablanca’s ‘Start of beautiful friendship’ line, the scene in Nightmare on Elm Street when a character is sliced through on the ceiling, the Keyser Soze revelation from the Usual Suspects, the twist in Sixth Sense, the scene from Alien when the alien rips out of a man’s stomach, Jaws’ ‘We need a bigger boat’ line, and the opening scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Dirty Dancing is another one, the film has become so much a part of our cultural landscape, that even those who aren’t particularly interested in film know that there is a iconic lift in the final dance, that there’s a line ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner’ and that Time of my life features on the soundtrack.
I’ve loved this film for as long as I can remember. Like so many other women it’s something that I’ve watched numerous times. Patrick Swayze is remarkably handsome, and his character Johnny Castle is the archetypal bad boy with a heart of gold. I love the fact that they cast Jennifer Grey, as although she’s pretty, is not the stand out beauty in the film. She fits the role of Baby perfectly, and watching the two affect each other, as they start to fall in love… when I was a pre teen it gave me hope that despite the fact that I fit the category of homely, that I might be able to hook my own ‘Johnny Castle’.
The dance sequences were wonderful, and I wanted to learn how to dance like Baby does at the end of the film. I’ve no idea if the lake is a typical place that dance instructors take their students when teaching lifts, it would be kinda funny to see a full class, all practising in the middle of a English Lake.
It was my introduction to how relationships could change the people within them. Both Johnny and Baby alter throughout the movie. Baby becomes more and more self confident, and aware of her own sexuality. Johnny on the other hand, tries to better himself, he unbends from the archetypal ‘bad boy’, revealing more and more of his softer side when he and Baby are alone together.
It will always be one of my favourite movies, both because of the lead performances and the fact that the soundtrack is packed with songs that I love to listen to.