Dirty Dancing

Director: Emile Ardolino
Year Released: 1987
Rating: 2.0

Recent high school graduate "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) - who plans on joining the Peace Corps - accompanies her parents (Kelly Bishop and Jerry Orbach) and sister Lisa (Jane Brucker) on a vacation to the Catskills where she runs into a bunch of fellow young people grinding (and leaving no room for Jesus), asks for money from her father to pay for a woman named Penny (Cynthia Rhodes) to get an abortion ... and then gets taught how to dance by moody Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), who deflowers her both physically and emotionally.  This coming-of-age story is set in the early 1960's but has the gaudiness of the 1980's clinging to every bit of it - producers thought it would be a failure, but it would up being a blockbuster, thanks in part to its catchy soundtrack ("(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes deservedly won the Oscar for Best Original Song) and also to the unlikely "romance" between Grey and Swayze (I'll leave it to others to dissect the adoration a diminutive Jewish girl has for an Anglo himbo).  Some thirty five years following its release, this has been revisited for its forward-thinking view on women's reproductive rights and the potentially harmful consequences of "back alley" procedures: it's good to know populist schmaltz can still carry a positive message.