A 're-imagining' of the 1987 hit film starring Patrick Swayze, this upbeat teen musical romance follows the blossoming relationship between nice, well-brought-up American girl Katey (Romola Garai) and wrong-side-of-the-tracks Xavier (Diego Luna). 18-year-old Katey moves to Havana, Cuba with her parents in the late 1950s, just as the country teeters on the brink of a revolutionary uprising. She is instantly drawn to local bus-boy Xavier, and defies the wishes of her parents by accompanying him to a nightclub where he teaches her how to 'dirty' dance Cuban-style. The two grow increasingly close, but when Fidel Castro comes to power, Katey's parents decide to flee for the US - leaving Katey to make the ultimate decision. Patrick Swayze makes a cameo, reprising his 1987 role as Johnny Castle. The film features music by modern-day artists including Christina Aguilera, Wyclef Jean, Mya and Black Eyed Peas.
The sinuous world of 1950s Cuban dance halls provides the setting for Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
, a "re-imagining" that shares with the original movie a deep love of sexy young people pressed tightly together on the dance floor. Fresh from New England, bookish and lovely Katey (Romola Garai, adorable in the charming but little-seen I Capture the Castle
) meets a fiery young busboy named Javier (Diego Luna, Y Tu Mama Tambien
) at a snooty hotel. Before you can say Tito Puente, the two have found a common language in the sensual swaying of their limbs, despite the resistance of Katey's mother (Sela Ward). It's all ridiculous, of course--the dialogue is atrocious, the characters tortilla-thin, and the politics embarrassing--but that's hardly the point. Luna is dreamy, there's lots of sweaty dancing, and Patrick Swayze makes an appearance--what more can you ask from a movie called Dirty Dancing
? --Bret Fetzer