Eleanor Bergstein

Dirty Dancing (1987)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Dirty Dancing (1987)


Emile Adrolino


Eleanor Bergstein


Jennifer Grey

Patrick Swayze

Jerry Orbach

Cynthia Rhodes


Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle.


I noticed on my most recent viewing that Dirty Dancing doesn’t have the best acting. I never know what Jennifer Grey’s character is thinking or feeling. Once they start having sex, it’s obvious, but before that, her stare is a bit dead. Patrick Swayze is, of course, very emotive, and I know what he’s thinking.

There’s also the whole she’s supposed to be eighteen, and he’s supposed to be a few years older than that. They’re clearly in their late twenties and early thirties. I end up missing out on the whole forbidden love because they’re adults. Her parents shouldn’t be able to hold her back. I get the class thing, but Baby clearly doesn’t care about that. So the only thing holding them back is her parents. I missed all of that until I read Wikipedia.

I don’t watch Dirty Dancing for the acting so much as I watch it for the music, though. The dancing is also nice, but it’s the music that I love. It’s been a while since I listened to the soundtrack, but there was a time when I was sixteen when I listened to it nonstop for an entire week.

Honestly, I’m not sure if this is a movie I need to own. I have the soundtrack. Do I really need the “story?” I do like the depiction of abortion in the film. It’s realistic, and the woman isn’t shamed. So that’s a big positive in the movies column. I don’t know. I’ll probably keep it. Sometimes I just want to watch Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey crawl across a floor toward each other while lip-syncing.