Conversations with myself: The Dirty Dancing remake

Wednesday night. Shortly after 9 pm (MDT). A night of meetings and running errands culminates with me sitting on my couch. Turning on my television--instead of the writing I should be doing--I begin to mindlessly scroll through the channels.

Before going any further in my search, my brain recalls a buried thought, one I'd wished would have stayed buried: The remake of Dirty Dancing was on.

Turning the channel, I find we're currently on a commercial break. Roughly 45 minutes remain so I should be joining just as the movie is ramping up.

ME: Should I really be doing this?
MIND: Oh come on. You've sat through Lifetime Channel movies about Saved by the Bell. You can easily do this.
ME: You're right.

Early reviews of the Dirty Dancing remake had appeared online a few days prior. I'd watched the trailer and there was no way I should be doing this. Even my Twitter feed was quiet, meaning even the many comedians I followed were staying away from the film. 


ME: Oh, good, it's back on. Right at the "Loverboy" moment...Wait, Johnny and Baby are full-on making out. They are going to get caught a lot easier than they did in the original...Wait...There is a guy creepily staring through the cabin's window.
MIND: Cut the movie some slack. Plus, you missed the first two hours.
ME: Okay, but...

Clunky dialogue, unneeded subplots, and even more dialogue (this remake apparently does not hold a belief in subtext) take place over the next few minutes. Even as far as remakes go, Dirty Dancing seems to have taken a strange turn.

ME: That was the weirdest few minutes leading to Johnny's arrest.
MIND: You need to quit comparing it to the original.
ME: But they're mixing in original dialogue and original shots! You can't ask me not to compare it.
MIND: Shh... Here comes "She's Like the Wind".

Here's what I was expecting:




Instead, we were treated to some sort of EDM/Pop mix that lent no credence to the scene and left me with very little to say.

ME: What. The. Hell.

I am actually ready to give up at this point. Apparently, though, I like to torture myself.

ME: Okay. Here comes the finale... How can there be 20 minutes left?
MIND: Stay focused, Jason.  The lift is coming!
ME: Is that Billy Dee Williams?
MIND: Yes. You missed a lot in the first two hours.
ME: Apparently.

I continue to watch. Every little thing continues to be explained by characters and I'm not simply speaking about exposition. And there's dancing, but none of it seems very dirty. Am I watching footage of a junior high dance?

ME: (Laughing out loud)
MIND: Stop it. A lot of people worked hard on this.
ME: Are you watching the same show? Maybe they should have treated it more like an homage than trying to add onto a story that was pretty enjoyable the first time around.
MIND: You're an ass.

It was then I shut off my mind. I  kept watching because the movie kept going. Apparently the creators decided to take the late 90's/early 2000's approach of bookending the movie. Why did we need this? We didn't. Part of the beauty of the original was imagining what happened to the Johnny/Baby relationship after the movie ended. Did they stay together? Was it simply a summer fling? Questions that didn't need to be answered but the creators of the remake felt did.

Luckily, the original will still live on in our hearts. Was the original an all-time great? No, but it has it's moments, it's songs, and of course, the classic line "I carried a watermelon". For that, it's legacy will live on forever.







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