Monday, May 29, 2017


At the top, let's get one thing out of the way: We did not have hungry eyes.

Any interest or desire in seeing ABC's remake of DIRTY DANCING vanished early on.



The two networks did those remakes as live TV events.

For reasons only they know, ABC decided to remake a beloved film as a TV movie.

It's not the first time they did this.

In 1977, they served up Marlo Thomas in IT HAPPENED ONE CHRISTMAS -- a remake of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

It's a TV film that they've since buried.

The same fate probably awaits DIRTY DANCING.

And should.

The remake is an unmitigated disaster.

Abigail Breslin replaces Jennifer Grey in the role of Baby and the big question is why?

At best, Breslin was a child actress who peaked a decade ago and the only remake she should be near today is GEORGY GIRL.

Yet there she was, plus-sized and talent-lacking, moving around with all the grace of Shelley Winters' underwater ballet in THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE.

They tried to cover up for Breslin's inability to dance by avoiding showing her feet whenever possible.

They'd been better off hiding her co-star from the camera.

Someone decided Cole Prattes was the one to take over the role of Johnny.

It's not that he wasn't Patrick Swayze, it's that he wasn't anybody.

Calling him "dull" would be too generous -- dull only bores.

Prattes did real damage as he attempted to steal the show.

A trained dancer, Prattes could have made Breslin come off better in the choreography by being generous but every bone in his body is clearly jealous.

Which would also explain why he showed up for filming having just lost 20 more pounds.

Was he trying to make her look fatter?

If so, he undid all the camera and wardrobe tricks -- including, at one point, the turtle neck sheet Breslin was cloaked in for the love scene.

The script appeared to be yet another attempt to aid Breslin.

Long stretches were spent on minor characters like Debra Messing as Baby's mother who not only prattled on but also sang a number which was when we realized we weren't watching DIRTY DANCING so much as we were watching a remake of MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR.

That explains the book ending scenes the remake adds.

The film kicks off and ends in the 'present' (the seventies).

See Baby's at a Broadway theater where a musical is being rehearsed: DIRTY DANCING.  Baby's written the book for the musical.

MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR (the film) has Natalie Wood's Marjorie grasping that we're all responsible for our own choices.

Baby's choices after that dancing summer were to move on from Johnny, get married and have kids.

Her life is empty.

And, as we watch these new bits, about to get emptier as she attempts to turn her summer into a successful musical in 1975 -- that's the year that, among others, A CHORUS LINE and CHICAGO took Broadway by storm.

The remake tells us Baby lost the love of her life.

It also informs us what happens when someone's artistic vision  crashes.

They go to work for ABC.

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