The world has many reasons to despair today. Countries face financial ruin, chaos reigns in cities across the UK, and as ever politicians are flapping about ineffectually. I look to the world of entertainment for a little light relief, and what news awaits me? They are remaking Dirty Dancing. Despair indeed.
I realise in the grand scheme of things it’s a relatively trivial gripe. I could regale you with my take on the riots still raging across the UK, but my half-informed opinion on the subject will add little of value to the already rich commentary available elsewhere. Instead I will reserve my ranting for a subject on which I can at least speak with some kind of authority. . .Patrick Swayze!
My simple question is this – what are they thinking? There’s no tangible reason I should be surprised. After all, Hollywood has demonstrated again and again that no movie is safe from the reach of the remake machine, ranging from the marks-for-effort (Friday 13th) to the halfway entertaining (Dawn of the Dead) to the Have You Seen The Original?! (Yes, Halloween, I am talking to you.) I can’t even bring myself to comment on Nightmare on Elm Street.
But Dirty Dancing? Too far, movie bosses, too far.
It’s a movie so iconic that couples all over the world line up to learn that famous finale, a routine so ubiquitous even Paddy McGuiness and Keith Lemon managed a near perfect replication. Die-hard fans still flock to the Mountain Lake Hotel where part of the movie was filmed. The late Jerry Orbach, an actor of considerable versatility and talent, will always, in our hearts, be Baby’s dad.
And everyone knows that nobody puts Baby in the corner (sorry, I had to!)
The most disheartening thing is that when the new movie opens, and is watched by a new generation of movie-goers, some will never have seen the original.
So this is my plea to Hollywood – leave the 80s alone! For some of us, it was a golden era of cinema, when detention was a life altering experience, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks could win her man with the help of a home-made dress and Alan from Two and a Half Men, and yes, when we all wanted to carry a watermelon.
Take some comfort, 80s movie lovers, from the fact that some things, at least, are sacred . . .they would never dare remake Footloose. Oh, wait. . .