Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

dir. Ferland

Opens Fri Feb 27

Various Theaters

I hate everything in the world one would consider cheesy, EXCEPT: love, sex, hair metal, and the movie Dirty Dancing. Starring Jennifer Grey (pre-drastic face surgery) and Patrick Swayze, the original Dirty Dancing managed to inspire the hearts of young girls everywhere, including mine. Think back... could anything be more awesome than being swept off your feet by a dreamy dance instructor, fucked silly, and then lauded by the whole community after you knocked their socks off at the end-of-summer dance contest? No, there couldn't, which is why Dirty Dancing is such a great movie.

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights pales in comparison to the original (which is playing at the Mercury/Clinton Prozac Film fest, next Friday, by the way), but it's still a delicious guilty pleasure. This film is basically a remake of the Swayze version, but this time it stars a boring blonde chick and a smoking-hot "Cuban" guy, played by Mexican actor Diego Luna.

Diego and the blonde meet when her family moves to Cuba. His royal hotness is a waiter at the swanky hotel she's staying at, and she's a studious, non-racist honky with something to prove. The two hit it off immediately, absconding to a Cuban club to get dirty on the dance floor. Then, conveniently enough, they discover there's a big dance contest that pays big money, and conveniently again, Diego could really use the dough to help his poor Cuban family.

Unlike the original, they cut out all of the Penny-and-the-abortion stuff and replace it with drama about the unstable political situation in Havana. This is pretty interesting, but understandably glossed-over, as you should be spending your time absorbing the great dancing, and wondering whether Diego and the blonde are finally going to screw.

Cameos by Patrick Swayze as the hotel dance instructor are pleasantly cringe inducing, and just so you know, he doesn't reenact the "gu-gung, gu-gung" scene from the original, as you desperately fear he will.

Be prepared to sweat, get goosebumps, and roll your eyes a lot of times, because this movie is an over-the-top cheese fest. But also be prepared to embrace your inner dork, and be joyously entertained.