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It's been 30 years since Dirty Dancing shattered expectations and garnered a following that still resonates with fans. The movie left us with lines, songs and memories that belong to Baby and Johnny Castle — the pair that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey brought to magical life onscreen.
Though remakes and reboots are popular nowadays, there are some movies that are too special to be remade. Unfortunately, ABC didn't feel that way, and on May 24th, a made-for-TV version of Dirty Dancing will air.
Starring Abigail Breslin and Colt Prattes, the movie crosses over into musical territory, offering fans a bit more song with their dance. But changing Dirty Dancing is kind of like tampering with your grandmother's favorite biscuit recipe; there was nothing wrong with original.
Early reviews don't offer promise that the Dirty Dancing remake has anything near the romantic feeling the original gave us. What Grey and Swayze brought to the screen was quintessential and incomparable. It's difficult, if not impossible, to capture that type of lightning in a bottle twice. And because the shoes to fill are so big, critics are really taking the television movie to task, offering scathing reviews like this one:
"[T]he updated version doesn’t even meet the lowest of expectations and blows past mediocre to land at downright terrible. The film is slow and dull, the lead actors have absolutely no chemistry, and the musical aspect doesn’t add anything to the film beyond being time-consuming."
And fans of Dirty Dancing aren't taking it any easier on the producers of the remake. In fact, their vocal outrage is practically an uprising on Twitter. Most of them are asking the same question—why?
While some remakes have done well, such as Hawaii Five-0 and MacGyver, others fizzled. Have we forgotten the dismal failures when Ben-Hur and Get Carter were remade? It looks like producers would learn the necessary lessons from the predecessors.
One of the biggest problems with remakes it that they run the risk of casting a pall on the original movie and turning phenomenal films into fodder for late-night hosts and comedians. Avid fans of Dirty Dancing don't want this to happen to the movie they've loved for 30 years.
Some things don't need to be updated, altered or reworked as long as we have the best. And there is nothing that needed to be fixed in the original Dirty Dancing. That is why it has endured.