Dirty Dancing

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Dirty Dancing is a movie that shows liberals at their best. Set in 1963, before the Kennedy Assassination the Beatles and moon launches, the film shows "Baby", a girl who wants to join the Peace movement. She is on vacation with her family in the Catskills before starting at Mt. Holyoke College. She becomes interested in the low-paid staff and their social center Johnny, a highly skilled dance instructor. Raised to be a do-gooder by her doctor father, Baby helps a friend of Johnny's who was made pregnant (and dumped) by her Ivy League boyfriend.

Baby gets money from her father, without telling him what it is for, to pay for the gray-market abortion. When the girl is injured during the procedure, she wakes her father in the middle of the night to provide emergency care. (If the hotel manager were to discover her pregnancy or abortion, she'd probably be fired - along with Johnny and most of his friends.)

Baby also agrees to substitute for Johnny's friend in a dance recital, even though she's hardly ever done any ballroom dancing. Johnny coaches her intensively, and she develops a crush on him. Eventually, they fall in love and sleep together. She conceals this from her father until a crucial moment when Johnny is suspected of stealing a wallet at night, and Baby provides an alibi for him by revealing that he was with her all night.

The do-gooding background of the story is the social concern over black civil rights (although there are no black characters in the movie at all, not even extras). The manager hires only Ivy League men as waiters, and one Ivy Leaguer boasts that he and two friends are going to do a Freedom Ride in Mississippi. Baby is planning a stint in the Peace Corps after majoring in economics of third-world countries.

The irony here is that for all their do-gooding intentions, the upper-class whites don't really care about the "poor" people they are helping. They just drop in, make a small sacrifice, and continue on with their lives of privilege and opulence. Their idealism is also crass and limited: Baby cashes in a lifetime of honesty and purity to blackmail her sister with first-ever lie, and she gives her virginity to a man she's not married to (Johnny) simply because she has become infatuated him due to all the attention and close contact during the dance coaching.

This movie is aimed at teenagers, being a girl's coming-of-age fantasy of reaching sensual and spiritual perfection in a one-week encounter with an Adonis; but it should be seen only by college graduates.