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Deconstructing Dirty Dancing: Paperback – 28 Apr 2017
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For all those inexplicably drawn to Dirty Dancing again and again, here's a book that will finally make it feel like more than a ""guilty pleasure,"" that will intellectually legitimize your love for the movie you'd never previously admit is your real and forever favorite, at least not in front of polite company. Stephen Lee Naish helps the 80s gem rise up the cinema ranks. The moment you put the book down, you'll want to put Dirty Dancing on for another spin. --Holly Grigg-Spall, author of Sweetening the Pill: or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control
About the Author
Stephen Lee Naishs writing explores film, politics, and popular culture. His essays have appeared in Candid Magazine, The Quietus, Empty Mirror, 3:AM, and The Hong Kong Review of Books. He is the author of the essay collection U.ESS.AY: Politics and Humanity in American Film (Zer0 Books) and the forthcoming book Create or Die: Essays on the Artistry of Dennis Hopper (Amsterdam University Press). He lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
That may sound a little crazy and I was wondering how he was going to do this. But his argumentation is comprehensible and a lot less far-fetched than I feared it might be. He takes the reader through the movie scene by scene, explaining quickly what happens in that scene before analysing it. That made it easy to follow even though I watched the movie only once some time ago.
In the end, there's a short essay on his personal experience watching Dirty Dancing several times in his life.
I really appreciated a male's perspective on what is considered to be a movie that only women like. And I also enjoyed learning about the underlying topics in the movie and seeing that it's more complex than it seems to be at first sight. Another thing that I thought was interesting was that he showed how the lyrics of the soundtrack correspond to the story because I hadn't paid attention to that. Now I'm looking forward to watching the movie again and finding some new details that I hadn't noticed before.
I would recommend this book to anyone that likes or even loves the movie. It might also be helpful for students that want to write a paper on Dirty Dancing or movie analysis in general.
Many, many philosophical interpretations in addition to the plain-Jane synopsis/behind-the-scenes info that other movie-related books usually offer. Lee Nash does a full, scene-by-scene watch-thru of the movie and intersperses his writing with input from the screenwriter, Eleanor Bergstein, and other cinema writers; particularly Michele Schreiber and her book, American Post-Feminist Cinema (which I should really try and track down to read, too). I really enjoyed the reference to Dirty Dancing as being 'Star Wars for girls,' commonalities between it and that of the movie 'Blue Velvet,' Schreiber's interpretation of the plot as being First Meeting/Courtship/Consummation/Problem/Resolution/End (with the Transformation being love as a transformative agent for someone to become a better version of themselves), the character Robbie being a Randian Egoist and a literal Fountain of water being poured on his Head, Patrick Swayze's belief in Johnny & Penny's relationship being the one that lasts after the events of the movie occur, and deleted scenes that would've changed an audience opinion against Johnny or the owner's nephew, Neil.
* I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.