Viewed – 29 May 2011 Blu-ray
This has to be one of the most memorable and timeless coming of age love stories ever made. A clear favourite amongst the female crowd and anyone with a love of 80s shmaltz, this follows the story of teenage girl ‘Baby’ (Jennifer Grey) who during a summer vacation to an exclusive resort, falls for bad-boy dance instructor Johnny (Patrick Swayze) and subsequently experiences her own sexual awakening whilst breaking the heart of her Mother and Father. But this isn’t really about teenage rebellion, but more about the chemistry between the two leads, the charming humour of her dance lessons, the annoying would-be suitors, the tone-deaf sister and the set-in-his ways father. And the music is just fantastic, taking tracks from some of the most memorable 60s rock ‘n’ roll songs to create a truly sexy and uplifting feel good classic.
I was sad this morning to hear the news that one of the coolest actors of the eighties has passed away.
Patrick Swayze who will be best remembered for his iconic performance in fan-favourite Dirty Dancing … died yesterday at his home aged 57, following a 2 year battle against pancreatic cancer. I think my favourites of his long list of movies were Point Break and the underrated Roadhouse, even though I can’t help but love that moment when he says ‘Nobody puts baby in the corner’ in ‘Dancing. Sheer class.
Dirty Dancing co-star Jennifer Grey payed this tribute:
“When I think of him, I think of being in his arms when we were kids, dancing, practising the lift in the freezing lake, having a blast doing this tiny little movie we thought no one would ever see. He was a ‘real cowboy with a tender heart’, who was so fearless doing his own stunts that it was not surprising to me that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified.”
1952 – 2009
Viewed: 22 May 2008 DVD
Throughout the eighties and to a lesser extent the 1990s, director John Hughes made some of the most memorable and fun movies I’ve ever seen (big breath: The Breakfast Club, Wierd Science, Home Alone, Plaines, Trains & Automobiles). Arguably this is his crowning glory, the simple tale of the popular smart-ass (but likeable) school kid who chooses to take a day off school, and out smart the authorities at every turn. I was always appealed to the cool-kid-gets one over the grown ups idea (and that was never me, by the way) often seen in similar movies and tv shows like Back To The Future and Family Ties (and yes, Michael J. Fox would have been perfect for this), so this remains one of my all time faves.
Mathew Broderick made a bit of a name for himself in roles where he played the cool kid in films like War Games and Biloxi Blues – but it was his turn as the iconic Ferris Buellar that cemented his reputation. Everything about this film just plants a big goofy grin on ones face – the opening POV sequence as Ferris lays down his plans to the viewer, to the carnaval float Twist & Shout bit, and finally the edge of the seat run home before the folks find out he’s not sick at all and has been fooling them all along (!).
The teenager in all of us (no matter your age) will have something to like and find familiar, be it the dawky best friend, the hot girlfriend (or that hot girl u wished was your girlfriend), the boo-hiss Principle (a career best from Jeffrey Jones), or just all those eighties moments from the fashion-sense to the music to the fast cars to the jokes – all zip along so wonderfully, that well this is pretty much the perfect movie – and thankfully free of the angst of other John Hughes films like Pretty In Pink. Therefore, very little dates this one – and that is why it’s still as fresh and enjoyable as it was all those years back.
Verdict: 5 /5