Early this morning, I heard the worst movie news in some time: Lionsgate is remaking its 1987 classic Dirty Dancing. Disgraceful, isn't it? New readers, you may want to revisit my earlier written praise of this awesome movie, so as to get a full appreciation of my feelings toward this news. I read the news this morning on The Tracking Board, and heard it confirmed on Ralph Garman's "showbiz beat" on the KROQ Kevin & Bean show. Rumor has it that the story will be updated to modern day, but I have yet to find that out conclusively.
There are a million problems with this. I hope that it is actually going to be set in the '60s, like the original. Not only would the cultural appreciation for Mad Men and its ilk make the story a little more marketable, but the central conflict between Baby and Johnny would actually make sense! I'm not so naïve that I think an upper-middle-class young woman fooling around with a summer resort dance instructor at least a few years her senior wouldn't still piss off her father in modern times. But we're talking about dirty dancing.
How many Save the Last Dance and Step Up iterations have to go by before filmmakers realize that a girl learning how to sway her hips, while potentially indicative of sexual awakening, is not quite the society-shaking protestacular that it might have been at Kellerman's in the early '60s.
I do wonder if this may be a remake of the stage musical based on the original, à la The Producers (failure) and Hairspray (success). Interestingly, both of those movies were set in the '60s too, but Hairspray had that awesome John Waters '80s vibe. This may be the most successful way to remake the movie. A modern take might incorporate krumping or something really awkward, and a straight retelling of the original movie would be a cheesy Psycho job.
This whole thing makes me feel very unsettled! In high school, when Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights came out, my friends and I came up with a few other potential sequels. The most popular remains Dirty Dancing 3: Tienanmen Square. Log line: He was a student revolutionary. She drove a tank. Through the art of traditional Chinese folk dance...can they find love?