Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Nobody puts 'Mr Sex' in a corner


Right, so I was due to get back on the Sex-Horse this week after an extended layoff and a holiday (which I'll tell you about later), but recent events have forced me to ask a question that's been on my mind for ages; what is it about women and Dirty Dancing?

I swear down that whenever two or more women are gathered together in the same room, that film goes on the DVD. You could lock Germaine Greer, Myra Hyndley, Margaret Thatcher and Kali the Hindu Goddess into a living room, and five minutes later they'd be in their pyjamas, ramming enormous slabs of Cadburys Dairy Milk into their maws and bracing theirselves for a goz at Patrick Swayze's arse.


No disrepect to our female readers, and certainly none to Mr Swayze either (apart from saying "You were in Red Dawn, the worst film ever. Ugh!"), but here's the male perspective on Dirty Dancing; it's a bag of old ringpieces. Let us go through the plot; I've never actually seen the film in full, but I've walked past the living room to the fridge enough times whilst tutting loudly to get a decent handle on it;


* Some girl called Baby arrives at a posh Butlins on her holiday with her Mam and Dad. (and before I say anything else, you need to know that I would kill to know someone called 'Baby', as it would give me licence to talk like this all the time)



* Obviously, because this is a film about some bird on holiday, she runs into Patrick Swayze at a party, sees a bit of the old Dirty Dancing, and gets a wide-on for him. But let's stop just just there a moment to make a brief comparison. This is Dirty Dancing;




So are these lads;



And this is outright filthy;



This, on the other hand, is not. Ooh look, he nearly brushed against her tit! My senses is inflamed! I'm sorry, but I find there's far more erotic interplay and sexual tension between Barry and Yvonne in Hi-De-Hi. And how bitterly ironic that, while the females of the world were watching this, their male counterparts were wanking themselves bandy over Debbie Does Dallas and Electric Blue 14. God hates people.

* Anyway, Patrick Swayze has got a cob-on because his dance partner has got pregnant and is going to have a backstreet abortion that goes wrong. Don't know if they do a dance routine in that scene. Wouldn't be surprised.

* Patrick Swayze predictably teaches Baby how to dance, and they start nobbing each other (hm, an older man slapping it about with someone called 'Baby'; I'm not sure this film would be made today, eh readers?)

* Some other stuff happens


* Time Of My Fucking Life comes on, and Patrick Swayze picks Baby up and lifts her into the air. This, apparently, is the scene that the entire film hinges upon - whether a grown man can pick up a slip of a girl and raise her above his shoulders. For fuck's sake. So you've basically spent an entire film waiting for something that would have happened in the first 30 seconds of Britain's Strongest Man.

(And let us never forget, chaps - this film is totally responsible for the fact that we have to go to bleedin' Salsa classes if we want to get our ends away nowadays)


* Then Patrick Swayze comes into Baby's factory in a white Navy suit, lobs her over his shoulders, and walks out while Joe Cocker murders Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong. Or something.

And yet, despite all the evidence I've laid out here, something about it strikes a ridiculously tremulous chord within the womenfolk of this planet - including huge chunks of the intelligent, alternative, feminist ones. Consider the facts; first video in the world to sell over a million copies. $213m grossed from a film that cost $5m. God knows how many DVDs. Countless millions of pounds pumped into the brewing industry due to males going "Oh, not this shit again, I'm going to the pub".

So, ladies - please - educate not only me, but any other chap who just doesn't get it. I understand there may be some rite-of-passageness going on here, but when there are so many films just like this knocking about, why this one? Why? Why?


30 comments:

blueskies2day said...

I can't say I'm a fan of the film, but I am a girl so I will try and offer some insight...

- thinking break -

- more thinking -

I thought I was going to have something very profound to say about dancing and happiness... but all I can think about is chaste vampires, sorry.

Hen said...

I think it's got something to do with Johnny not being judgmental. He's rough around the edges, but he ends up showing himself to be a better person than all the posh toffs.
The scene with the lift is all about Baby trusting herself to get the approach right, not Johnny being able to lift her. She's spent her life being told by people that she's not good for anything, but Johnny believes in her. She's got to be able to throw her body at speed at Johnny the correct way, or else he'll miss the lift. Up until the lift at the end of season party, she's failed to get it right every time (because she doesn't belive in her own ability).

Up unitl that summer, every had viewed Baby as a buit pointless. No one viewed her as attractive, intellegent, or capable. Baby was someone to be tollerated. Humoured. Controlled. Johnny comes along and treats her as an equal, having high expectations of her. He's not attracted to her at all to begin with. The falling in love bit comes along as he gets to know Baby, the person.

So it ticks a lot of boxes for some of us girls, as it's a story about beliving in yourself, and being loved for who you are on the inside.

hen said...

hmm.

sorry about the spelling in that comment of mine.

Irony; spelling 'intelligent' incorrectly.

Nottingham's 'Mr Sex' said...

Not a problem, Hen. Thank you very much.

halfhearteddude said...

If I ever regretted the production of Dirty Dancing (and, frankly, I couldn't be any more indifferent to it), that would be entirely compensated for by your very funny post.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P Patrick.

Gregory Dyke said...

Dry humping no holds barred feel the music dancing is not "dirty dancing"?

Also... come on. Dancing is one of the essential things a man should know how to do. I have a theory that just dancing with someone will tell you if you're going to have a connection in the sack.

Basically, a great dancer is going to be a great lover.

Luka said...

I am proud to say I have never seen Dirty Dancing. This, like the fact I have also avoided ever seeing Star Wars, is something of an achievement.

I did see Flashdance though, which has led to a lifelong love of both welding and breakdancing.

Milana said...

You are reading way too much into this. Dirty dancing is loved women who first saw it when they were pubescent. There is all that body stuff going on, but in a safe, mostly clothed, not quite touching way, which is all a pubescent girl wants.

johnny and baby fall in love, which is what all girls want, but the sex is really just alluded to, a top or two removed and waking up in bed together, but nothing more explicit, because we really don't want that yet.

We want intense love, boys to love us enough to stand up for us and speak their love, we want to see their muscles ripple about a bit and perhaps have a snog or two, but we want the nitty gritty, in and outy, slippy sloppy reality of sex to really remain covered in a veil for the time being thank you very much.

So if you are 14 or so and female and discover this film, it will give you all that and a bit of singing and dancing, which girls of that age like too, so you are guarenteed to love it.

When you watch it again as an adult you remember how you used to feel about it, the moves, the songs, the corny lines and it is a lovely trip down memory lane, but rest assured that even through a nostalgia/chardonnay soaked evening, even we struggle not to run out of the room screaming when baby says 'but most of all I'm scared of walking out of here and never feeling in my life the way I feel when I'm with you' hideous!!!!

If you are male or a female over 16the first time you watch it, you'll never suffer from this affliction.

Nottingham's 'Mr Sex' said...

You've got a very good point that I can't argue with, Gregory, but I'm going to counter that by saying "Michael Jackson".

And "Gene Gene The Dancing Machine".

Gregory Dyke said...

I've never actually seen Michael Jackson dance *with* someone.

mustang sally said...

extremely valid points made by hen and milana, i just have one more thing to add:

men who can dance are HOT.

i loved the film when i was 14, if i watch it now i mostly think "how daft..." but i still love the dance scenes.

Nottingham's 'Mr Sex' said...

Well, I'm getting a proper education this day (and have wasted an hour trying to find Michael Jackson dancing with Diana Ross in The Wiz).

Lyric said...

I too have often wondered why it is that so many of the females i know like this movie. It has always bored me to tears. I've enjoyed seeing all the psychoanalysis of it though.

My personal theory has always been the one that I also apply to all of the Twilight nonsense...

It must be some kind of brainwashing that I'm immune to.

Cat said...

I can only say - guilty as charged. I do think it is one of those films you have to have watched when younger. I could say lots of things about sexual awakening, a young innocent being thrown into very adult situations, rape, abortion, changing times, love and bravery. But its appeal probably boils down to the uncool heroine pulling the hot dance teacher, having great sex and sticking it to the old people.

I want to go and watch it now...

lalita said...

During one summer, I was maybe 10 or so I watched it 13 times as it was the only movie we had in the summer cottage (that and the first communion of the owner's daughter). I still knew the lyrics by heart for the next couple of years. The title of the movie was translated as "Spinning Sex" into Polish (the reason for this remains unclear until today) and it definitely added to the craze surrounding the film :)

Clair said...

Yes, everyone knows that in real life, the hunky intelligent one ALWAYS falls for the plain, shy girl and they live happily ever after.

*Clutches sides, laughs for about a week*

Katie said...

MIlana has hit it spot on, most of us 30 -40 somethings watched this when we were 14 years old or so, and the story was great for us then.

We watch it now because it reminds us of the innocence (???) of being 14 again. Watching it for the first time in your 30's. Nah

Milana said...

Actually there is a point in there Clair. Jennifer Grey was plain, clumsy, shy, boring, with a big nose and small tits, just like most of us were at 14, and she still pulled Patrick Swayze!

No wonder we loved it, we desperately wanted this to be a possiblity for us too - poor deluded fools that we were!

L said...

Before you go on a rant about a film it would be nice if you'd actually watch it first so that you could at least justify your opinions. Also, since Patrick Swayze just DIED I don't think this is a very appropriate post.

Nottingham's 'Mr Sex' said...

It's OK, L - I made a clay pot last night with Unchained Melody on the stereo, and he came in and told me that he was cool with it and I was right. Then I told him to stop stroking my hands, as I was trying to make a birthday present for me Mam and he was putting me off.

Tanya Jones said...

I'm female, and have never liked the film. Which isn't much help, admittedly. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

I think this says it well. I didn't see it like that at the time but must have felt it subconsciously. Girl power.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/sep/16/patrick-swayze-dirty-dancing-feminism

Sex Toy Guru said...

i envy your patience to endure the entire dirty dancing film. I've never personally been able to watch it all the way through, however I would watch Saturday Night Fever countless times as a child, go figure...

Zeb said...

It's OK, L - I made a clay pot last night with Unchained Melody on the stereo, and he came in and told me that he was cool with it and I was right. Then I told him to stop stroking my hands, as I was trying to make a birthday present for me Mam and he was putting me off.

Brilliant, but now you're responsible for me spraying coffee all over my keyboard!

I saw it when I was 14 ... I thought it was utter unmitigated crap and have resisted watching it again ever since. I just don't get why any woman thinks Swayze is hot ... surely they can't all have been on the beer? And just having died doesn't make someone suddenly talented - it didn't work for Jackson either ...

julesav said...

I quite liked Swayze in Roadhouse!

Anonymous said...

This is a toughie, but yes, even though I wasn't ever a girlie girl, the idea that I may one day stop being the Baby and become someone of worth/talent was strengthened by the sappy imagery in this film. The optimistic view that a plain and clumsy girl like Baby could pull a guy like Johnny gives me hope, but the cynical 30yr old just likes to curl up on my own with a tub of ice cream and take the piss out of my teenage self.

Anonymous said...

I only ever managed to sit through it once - just! Couldn't see what all the fuss was about to be honest. The couple of blokes who did the dance for comic relief - now that was good!!!

Anonymous said...

Great analyses here. Ffor myself, though, female, 40, saw the film when it came out and found it utterly forgettable except for the back-alley abortion bit that *still* creeps me the fuck out.

Needless to say, it's not even CLOSE to making my top films list.

And my other female friends, like me, are more likely to drop in a Monty Python, Galaxy Quest, or House DVD.

...or Grease if we really want nostalgia and music.

Canuckian's Evil Twin said...

I liked Dirty Dancing when I watched it when I was young but I never LOVED it.

Grease makes me want to hurl. Enough said.

I did watch "Some Kind of Wonderful" about a thousand times over though.

I'm a female and I don't get it either, Mr. Sex!