Dirty Dancing

If men had their Star Wars, women have their “Dirty Dancing”. Yes, if you are a woman  with a love for romance and excitement, then chances are you have a copy of this film stashed away in your secret drawer for emergency girl sessions.

OK, so maybe not every woman has a copy (they should put it in the girl code book) since the movie was made a few decades ago. However, it is still a classic that will never lose its magical touch especially for those who yearn for the times in their lives where every turn held a promise of adventure and love.

While this phenomenal hit earned Patrick Swayze immense renown, did you know that “Dirty Dancing” almost didn’t make it to the movie screens? It was besieged with a lot of problems that could have been fatal to the release of the movie.

For one thing, Eleanor Bergstein, the writer, had trouble selling the script to studios. The script was loosely based on her life growing up and while some studio heads expressed some interest, she was adamant in not compromising certain elements in the story. When they finally got to shoot, the weather conditions got so bad that several of the cast and crew got sick or were hospitalized. They couldn’t find an adequate setting so they had to combine locations from different resorts and just edit it to look like one place. Finally, even when it was finally finished on time and on budget, many people who saw the finished product did not like it. An executive from the studio was even said to have suggestion to “burn it and collect the insurance”.

Fortunately, they released the movie and the rest, as they say, is history. People loved the film. It actually drew in more adults than the teen audience that the studio initially targeted. The budget for the movie was $5 million and earned $170 million worldwide by the end of 1987.

Even after it was released, “Dirty Dancing” continued to rake in the dough. It was the highest grossing video rental of 1988, even making it the first film to ever hit the 1 million videos sold mark. The songs “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”, “She’s Like the Wind” (performed and co-written by Patrick Swayze) and “Hungry Eyes” enjoyed high ratings in the pop charts in 1988. It was remade in Broadway to massive success, and raked in numerous awards and recognition.

What made Dirty Dancing so memorable? I mean, movies come and go but this one was indelibly printed in the hearts and minds of a generation not too long ago. If you watch the movie, you will see that it wasn’t just about a love story—it was about a coming of age of a young woman who discovered herself, and love through dancing. Yes it wasn’t easy, but leaps of faith rarely are. You might have a passion that you are afraid to pursue, pursue it anyway. When you follow your heart, you will find yourself.

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