File this one under inevitable: the classic 1987 film “Dirty Dancing” is about to get a remake.
The reboot will be directed by Kenny Ortega, who’s responsible for much of the great dancing in the original — he was a choreographer on the movie.
Personally, we don’t know what Ortega’s thinking. This is a short-term and long-term losing proposition.
We’re getting depressed just thinking about the updated soundtrack and the requisite Jennifer grey cameo.
And those feelings of depression point to the formidable obstacle this picture faces: nostalgia.
Ortega virtually can’t make a “Dirty Dancing” better than the one that already exists.
That’s not a knock on his talents. A movie that’s accumulated almost 25 years of viewer affection doesn’t have to be the better movie to be the better movie. It’s the better movie because it’s the one people already love.
This reasoning applies to any favourite film — but the sad death of Patrick Swayze ups the nostalgia ante even further.
We pity the actor chosen to fill his dancing shoes — and we’re guessing most of the smart ones are going to stay the hell away from the offer.
Yes, we know how the film’s team would respond to this criticism: of course they could never top the original; the new “Dirty Dancing” won’t be better, it’ll just be different; they want to pay tribute to Swayze’s legacy.
None of that makes it a good artistic or financial bet.
Add to all this the fact that by the time this project hits theatres, consumers will be several seasons into “Glee.” NBC may have a hit on its hands with “Smash.” The “Footloose” reboot will have come and gone. So, too, will “Rock of Ages.”
Audiences may very well be completely maxed out on music and dancing by the time “Dirty Dancing” 2.0 comes around.
And they may choose to reject the remake the same way they did, oh, “Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights.” That 2004 movie that fell $10 million shy of breaking even.
Hollywood should have learned its lesson then: Nobody puts the original Baby in the corner.
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