Dirty Dancing

"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 came, 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." A deep excitement at hearing these lines in the 1987 Dirty Dancing is where my beloved Roger Ebert and I cross swords. From a well of discontentment that could only belong to someone forced to watch every movie in existence, he enthusiastically disses Dirty Dancing's "idiot plot," and moans that the dancing is "over-choreographed." I'm not without gripes, but who other than Cynthia Rhodes (Flashdance, Staying Alive) could've played the troubled Penny, and why should she have to hide her talent? It's not like '80s popular cinema is remembered for its subtlety—the producers had the nerve to litter a killer soundtrack, which includes perhaps the most iconic use of the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" alongside crap like Patrick Swayze's "She's Like the Wind." Call for showtimes. (PG-13) RACHEL SHIMP

Aug. 3-7, 2012

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