I’ve known Dirty Dancing has been one of my wife’s favorite movies for awhile so when I saw that the Mission Theater in Portland was having a sing along I snagged us a couple of tickets. I expected to share the theater with a bunch of other couples out on a date night but found the the place filled instead with a bunch of other women around our age. A free cocktail was included with the ticket, which I like to think provided us all with just enough social lubrication that when the movie started we were ready to get past some of our inhibitions and belt out the lyrics we knew.
I grew up in the 80’s. Movies like Top Gun, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Secret of My Success and Stand by Me were staples of the era. But one movie that just about any girl would tell you is her favorite is Dirty Dancing. I don’t know a girl who didn’t at some point fantasize about being Jennifer Grey falling in love with Patrick Swayze. The music and imagery that permeated the culture from that movie have held up to the test of time as a fun couple of hours where the girl is the hero. Love and hope carry the day. The parents admit they were wrong and the bad guys don’t win in any way.
My natural cynicism was put away for few hours as over a hundred women laughed, giggled, and sang our way through the movie. There was dancing in the isles. We shouted down the sleazy characters when they made their moves on Baby and cheered when she got past her fear, launching herself into Johnny’s strong confident arms to be lifted into the air for the finale. I can without a doubt say that this is the most fun I’ve had in a theater for awhile.
It was a lovely night