“I carried a watermelon.”

yep. hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Dirty Dancing was first released. since it’s one of my favourite movies, i was thrilled to learn that Lionsgate Films, in association with the Regal Entertainment Group, was returning it to the big screen to celebrate the anniversary.

playing only May 1st and 2nd at 7:30 PM in Regal Cinemas (Movies at Azalea Square and Charles Towne Square 18), it was great to see this film again in a theater. you’ve still got a chance to see it, if you’re reading this in time…

so, anyway, the film was preceded by a new featurette about both the making of the film and it’s adaptation into a stage show. never having seen the theatrical production, it was nonetheless interesting to hear about the changes made to adapt a film that “everybody” is familiar with to a stage prooduction.

then, of course, came the movie itself. if you haven’t seen it – have you been living under a rock? they play it on tv what seems like all the time. but i won’t ruin it for you. go tomorrow night, or rent the new 20th Anniversary DVD. it’s a wonderful movie, set in a more innocent time – as Baby says in the opening voice-over, “That was the summer of 1963, when everybody called me Baby, and it didn’t occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles, when I couldn’t wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I’d never find a guy as great as my dad. That was the summer we went to Kellerman’s.”

for all its seeming innocence, however, this is a movie about growing up. Baby does, her father does (one of Jerry Orbach’s best performances), Johnny does, even Baby’s shallow sister Lisa does. the (in some cases forced) maturation of the characters echoes the way the nation would soon be forced to grow up – this was before Freedom Summer (1964) and Bloody Sunday (1965), before the Kennedy assasination and Gulf of Tonkin incident. just as the cast realizes that the world isn’t fair and good – but that they could affect it for the better – the nation would soon make the same discovery.

plus, the music is great.

oh, and i almost forgot – “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

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