Patrick Swayze, who had until this point, exclusively been cast as a total bad ass (‘The Outsiders”, “Red Dawn” and “Uncommon Valor”… just forget about “Skatetown”), held the starring role as a dance instructor at a family resort in upstate New York. The guys are already thinking, “here we go.”
(Never forget Skatetown! This is the full, awesomely terrible film… good luck getting through the opening sequence.)
It turns out, Swayze’s character is still pretty bad ass, he just really likes to dance with women in a suggestive fashion in his spare time. During one of his usual weeks of gyrating in his tight black t-shirt in front of old couples, he meets a sheltered, young patron of the resort named Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey). She digs Swayze’s moves… and you can’t blame her. He’s older, he can dance – and he is ultimately Patrick Swayze, regardless of his character’s name (Johnny Castle).
The resort staff has to their kicks after a long day of waiting on rich, snobby guests and their children, right? Absolutely. It seems every last staff member is invited to a wild-west themed bar every single night, where they dance as if “Southern Hospitality” by Ludacris was playing. These people are getting down…
Anyway, Baby strolls in looking for a good time and Swayze charms her into dancing with him. Later, Swayze’s dance partner for the weekly, monthly, annual (we don’t know) dance recital for the resort guests gets preggers. Oops! Who on Earth will fill her spot on the playbill?! Baby will – objecting father and all… (Jerry Orbach from “Law & Order” really lets his daughter have it.) GUNG GUNG! RIP.
Swayze eventually seduces Baby into training for this pointless production, they dance, he lifts her up in an epic moment in cinema history – and every guy in the theater either gets kissed, or dumped for Patrick Swayze.
The film was a surprise box office hit, and grossed $64 million – turning Swayze into a household name. His co-written song, “She’s Like the Wind”, contributed to the film’s multi-platinum selling soundtrack, including “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” and “Hungry Eyes”.
As far as “chick flicks” go – this is the gold standard. “Dirty Dancing” helps to expose “The Notebook” for the truly incoherent series of events it truly is and makes “Bridget Jones” seem like the worst film ever created. (Actually, that might be true.) Men, pop this in on Blu-Ray and you may just seal the deal… unless she’s already taken – by Patrick Swayze.