PureDWTS Power Rankings – The Dirty Dancing Edition!

You guys asked, and I delivered – you better like it, though, cause I set aside my usual Wednesday night viewing of The Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo to watch this turd, and it’s three hours of my life that I won’t get back. I knew up front it likely wouldn’t be that great (and definitely wouldn’t touch the original), but man – I would even go so far as to call this one a FESTERING turd, it was so bad. If you haven’t yet watched it, here’s my recommendation: don’t. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, delete it from your DVR and forget it ever existed.  Trust me when I say that there’s next to nothing redeeming about it (except for a few musical performances, which you can listen to on Spotify or iTunes – I’ve also reviewed the soundtrack below), and if you’re a fan of the original (or, y’know, just a fan of logic/cohesive plotlines/decent storytelling), it will likely just piss you off. You’ve been warned. Also, there are spoilers ahead – although if you heed my advice about this movie being likely to just piss you off, anyway, you may be thankful for said spoilers.  Proceed if you want.

UPDATE: I posted these on Twitter, but for those not on Twitter, I had to share – some of the tweets in response to the movie are HILARIOUS 😛 Both People and Buzzfeed compiled lists of their favorites. My personal favorite? “@ABC You could have remade Gone with the Wind with the cast of The Big Bang Theory and it would have been better than #DirtyDancing!” #dead

So…I’ve got a lot to say about this one, and I’m afraid it’s primarily not very positive – so I guess I will start with the (few) positives: there were some surprisingly impressive vocal performances from some of the cast members (Debra Messing, Bruce Greenwood, & Sarah Hyland all surprised me with how great they sounded; I knew Katey Sagal was good to begin with, and she sounded great here), and I did appreciate how they seemed to reconstruct some of the sets from the original in painstaking detail – the ballroom and boat house sets in particular were impressively accurate.

Now for the negatives – bear with me, there was a lot I found problematic. I think the biggest problem I had was the fact that they felt the need to vastly expand upon the storylines of some of the characters (namely the entire Houseman family) from the original, and give them each some profound growth arc. The original Dirty Dancing is primarily Baby’s story, and partially Johnny’s, and is fractionally also a story about Dr. Houseman’s relationship with his daughter.  Everyone else is really a peripheral character to the main Baby/Johnny/Dr. Houseman thread and it isn’t necessary to witness a detailed character arc from them – which is why it irked me to no end that in this incarnation, they decided to construct a marital discord subplot for Dr. & Mrs. Houseman, and Lisa falling for the band member of color (that nobody approves of her dating, of course) after nearly being raped by Robbie. There was simply NO REASON FOR IT – and with this movie clocking in at an onerous 3 hours, there was certainly fat that could (and should!) have been trimmed to get the running time to 2 hours, tops. We didn’t need to know a ton about Mrs. Houseman, we didn’t need to have Lisa undergoing some great personal revelation.  Time spent exploring those storylines could have been better spent on scenes establishing chemistry between Baby & Johnny (and believe me, they could use all the help they could get – more on that later).

Second problem: heavy-handed dialog/storytelling. At times I felt like the writers thought I was stupid and must have needed very blunt explanation of what was going on, because they seemed to have the characters reciting wooden lines that seemed to over-iterate what was going on at a particular point in the story.  I don’t need the camera to pan back and forth between Penny puking and Baby looking shocked three times (and Penny saying “I’m pregnant”) before I can figure out what Penny’s problem is. The original was far better at subtly and quickly conveying most of the plot points, without being so blatant. Additionally, I would venture a guess that most folks who tuned in had at least a passing familiarity with the plot of the original movie – making the need for such blunt explanation doubly unnecessary.

Third problem: a pointless, and actually kind of counterproductive, frame story.  The original version didn’t have one – just a brief voiceover from Baby, hearkening back to the summer of 1963, at the beginning of the film that just indicates that everything we’re seeing happened in her past. In this one, we open with Baby sitting down in the audience of a Broadway show called Dirty Dancing in 1975, and the show basically being a long flashback to the summer she spent at Kellerman’s resort in 1963. Then at the end, after the iconic dance scene (and where the original movie ended without any further fuss), we go back to adult Baby applauding and wiping away tears at the end of the show clearly inspired by her past, and then accidentally running into Johnny (the show’s creator & star) after the show, at which point it becomes apparent that the two have not seen each other in several years and Baby is now married with a child and the only dancing she does is a weekly salsa class at the Jewish community center.  As Johnny realizes that a reunion between the two of them isn’t going to happen, he wistfully tells her to “keep dancing” as she departs with her husband and daughter – which is quite possibly the most soul-crushingly unsatisfying ending they could have concocted to this farce. Sure, it’s probably far more realistic than assuming that Baby & Johnny lived happily ever after, after that last dance at Kellerman’s; but at the same time, I feel like the takeaway point of Dirty Dancing was always “it’s possible for two people from opposite sides of the tracks can meet and fall in love”, and it’s not MEANT to have a pragmatic, brutally-honest ending – it’s not important what happens to Johnny & Baby AFTER the dance; just that they were able to reconcile their differences and dance together again after all the conflict in the film.  It’s best left open-ended – let viewers draw their own conclusions about Johnny & Baby’s ultimate fate. And for Pete’s sake, if you absolutely MUST expound about Johnny & Baby’s future, at the very least don’t put her back in the same mundane, sheltered existence that Johnny pulled her out of – I don’t really want to see her pulled out of her cushy suburban bubble of the doctor daddy and the private school education by a wild stranger, then plunked right back into basically the same surburban bubble, only this time she’s the mom/wife taking salsa lessons while married to a sweet-but-unexciting husband and raising a girl much like herself.

Fourth problem: why in the HELL did this need to become a musical??? It was as if so many other relevant aspects (particularly the choreography, which got RIDICULOUSLY dumbed down from the original) were cast aside because somebody had their heart set on this being a musical, and having the whole cast (or most of the cast) singing at some point. There was just no reason for it – and it probably resulted in a lot of miscasting we saw, because they seemed to go after singers over dancers…which is kind of a big problem to have, when you’re casting A DANCING MOVIE. On top of that, the soundtrack basically got neutered to accommodate the various vocal ranges & abilities of the actors – and the end result often sounds like one of those cheap party music CD’s you get from Party City that have low-budget covers of popular songs which are only a slight step above karaoke-quality performances. Those were ok when I was maybe 12 – but now that I’m older and have a better appreciation for good production quality and composition, it’s just ear blood.

I could go on and on about the slew of problems with this movie, but I’ll just leave it at this: I think the movie’s reach far exceeded its grasp, and I have to wonder if the budget was blown primarily on securing the rights to the movie (which were likely not cheap) and getting some big names on the marquee, and there just wasn’t a ton of money left for…I don’t know, a decent script writer? I’ve also seen a lot of people musing as to why some of these actors would sign on to such a toxic project – and my best guess is that they might not have known just how bad it was going to be until it was too late to back out. Fortunately, I think the actors that made the most of the steaming pile of crap they were handed aren’t likely to suffer as a result – but for the two leads? Ooh wee, I think this could haunt them for awhile.

Anywho – like I did with the Hairspray Live! power rankings, I’m going to rank the 13 top-billed actors and how well they handled their respective roles. Now let me just lead with this: nobody is really a winner here – this script was so bad that even the best actor would have a hard time churning out a decent performance, so I guess you should probably look at this list as “this how they did, from least bad to most bad”.

1.) Bruce Greenwood as Dr. Jake Houseman – I tip my hat to Bruce – I would say he was the one whose role in the original movie got expanded the most, albeit in sometimes-ridiculous ways, so he had to put in some WORK. Dr. Houseman in the original movie is a pretty stoic guy, but he’s happily married and generally a very good father whose only struggle seems to involve Baby coming of age. In this version, his marriage is in turmoil, and the impression is given that he hasn’t maybe been the most supportive or encouraging father to Baby.  This added some complication that Jerry Orbach didn’t have to deal with – however, I think the deeper storyline allowed Bruce & Debra to form a better chemistry than Jerry did with Kelly Bishop.  I’d say they probably had the best romantic chemistry in the movie, which is saying something 😛 He seemed to navigate the “wife neglected by her workaholic husband” storyline well, and gave it a nice, believable progression from him being in denial at first, to being angry, and to finally opening up and reconciling with his wife.  I think that storyline may have actually pulled him away from his central storyline with Baby a bit (which isn’t Bruce’s fault), and I think some of his dialog with Baby seemed a tad ridiculous and over-the-top (again, also not his fault) – but he handled it with aplomb, even when it didn’t completely make sense, and gave as believable a performance as he could given the circumstances. In the end, I kinda of appreciated that he played Dr. Houseman a bit more sensitive and warm than Jerry Orbach’s more stoic portrayal – and his singing voice is pretty awesome, too 🙂

2.) Debra Messing as Mrs. Marjorie Houseman – First off, Debra looks STUNNING in the 60’s housewife look – I just thought the big hair, pastel frocks, and bright lipstick just wore well on her.  She looked gorgeous. Secondly, she got dealt a bit of a tricky hand, as she & Bruce couldn’t draw from the original movie too much because their storyline here was a completely new addition. But I appreciated her vulnerability as a wife trying desperately to get her husband to notice her, and I liked that Debra gave her some depth compared to Kelly Bishop’s more daffy interpretation of Mrs. Houseman. I think the script may have screwed her a bit with regards to Baby, though, as she didn’t seem to be as present for Baby in this iteration as the original, but once again – not Debra’s fault. Great singer, and loved her heartfelt solo pleading to her husband in the ballroom.

3.) Katey Sagal as Vivian Pressman – Katey is so BOSS – she was stealing the show from her very first scene, because she was one of the few actors that seemed to really grasp their role and understand what direction they wanted to take in it.  It probably help that Vivian, a relatively minor role in the original, got expanded a bit more here, and was more fleshed-out in her motivations – she went from the “scorned mistress” stock character in search of revenge to a lonely, neglected divorcee just trying to connect to someone.  Katey does “cougar” well – she kinda did it on Married! With Children and Sons of Anarchy, so she was right at home here – and I’m so glad they actually gave her an opportunity to sing, because DAMN.  I think she was giving plenty of chemistry to Colt – which he only partially gave back – but I think she played her role as well as she could.  I couldn’t ask for much more from her.

4.) Sarah Hyland as Lisa Houseman – Admittedly, I went into this thinking “Of course she’s gonna do well as Lisa – Lisa is basically a 60’s version of Hayley Dunphy, so she isn’t gonna have to reach far.” And initially, she didn’t – Lisa starts out as pretty vapid, as she did in the original film, so Sarah was right at home in Lisa’s shallowness. However, I will say that Lisa’s expanded storyline in this version did give her a little more room to stretch her acting chops, and it was nice to see some vulnerability from her, even if the expanded storyline seemed scattered & uneven.  Thought she had a nice chemistry with Quinton Johnson, and tried to have chemistry with Abigail – but the latter seemed to have trouble connecting to just about everyone in the cast. Was also impressed by her singing voice, so I’d say she probably came out smelling ok in the grand scheme of things.

5.) J. Quinton Johnson as Marco – The one fortunate thing about this character is that it’s the only one NOT in the original movie, and appears to me to have only been added to this version to justify using J. Quinton Johnson’s silky voice on the soundtrack – so there’s nobody for me to compare Quinton’s performance to. Marco doesn’t exactly play an enormous role in the grand scheme of things, but I guess if they were insisting on giving Lisa her own story arc, he was a decent option to do so. He doesn’t have a ton of lines (he is mainly seen playing the piano & singing during the staff parties in the boathouse), but he does teach Lisa how to play the ukulele and performs with her at the talent show (to a lot of raised eyebrows), and after Lisa overhears her parents discussing divorce, she frantically searches for Baby and asks for Marco’s help (they still don’t find Baby, but he offers to walk her back to her cabin “because it’s dark”). Here’s the thing: if they were trying to set up a new love interest for Lisa, they should have given more time for follow-through – instead, we get a bit of half-assed set-up, and while Quinton & Sarah do have some on-screen chemistry, they’re just not really given a whole lot of time or material over which to develop it.

6.) Casper Smart as Billy Kostecki – Oddly enough, I think Casper came across more charismatic in the few lines they gave him during the “carried a watermelon” scene than Colt did the entire movie – and he probably would have made a much better Johnny than Colt, too.  Better dancer, better screen presence – hell, probably a decent singer, too, and if not, they could have auto-tuned him.  Disappointingly, though, the character of Billy felt like much more of an afterthought in this version of the movie, and less of a friend/third wheel to Johnny & Penny so much as he was just “that weird guy on the staff that crops up from time to time to say hi”. Casper maybe had 8 lines, total, and unless I wasn’t paying attention (and it’s possible that I wasn’t, it was really a struggle to finish this thing), after the scene where Johnny moves out after getting fired from Kellerman’s, we don’t see him again – in the original, he was the one that helped Johnny stage the big dance scene at the talent show at the end, and was seen grooving with Lisa during the final number. HUGE waste that they opted not to utilize his dance talent in some way, but given the few crumbs they gave him to work with, dialog-wise – I think Casper did well.

7.) Billy Dee Williams as Tito Suarez – If I recall, Tito doesn’t actually have any speaking lines in the original – he just directs the band and does a little bit of soft-shoe. He’s just this smiling, soothing background character. Basically, the perfect role for mobility-limited Billy Dee. And it would have been fine, if they didn’t try to turn him into a bit of a father/authority figure to Marco by telling him to avoid Lisa if he wants to keep his job. It just came across as out-of-character and unnecessary, in an otherwise perfectly fine role.  Billy Dee did fine and it was good seeing him, but I just could have done without the whole “stay away from the white girl” advice he gave Marco.

8.) Nicole Scherzinger as Penny Johnson – I will say this: I really think Nicole was giving it her all and doing the best she could with the singing/dancing/acting.  HOWEVER – when you’ve got a partner on the screen and on the floor as stiff and awkward as Colt, it’s bound to throw you off your game at least a little bit, and maybe even a lot. Thought she seemed unusually wooden during the dance sequences with Colt, which is unusual given what we saw from her on DWTS – she was rarely off her game, and the choreo Derek gave her was far harder than what they threw at her here. But I think she & Colt’s energy (and skill level…) was just entirely mismatched, and created some uncomfortably awkward dancing & acting.  She also appeared to be doing a questionable New York accent – why? I have no clue, but it almost made her sound lethargic and out of it. Again, I think she was TRYING – but I don’t think any of the actors were really given a whole lot to work with, and were just trying to get by with the little material they had.

9.) Tony Roberts as Max Kellerman – Anyone else think Tony Roberts could be Ron Perlman’s more wire-y older brother? 😛 I think the big problem I had with how they played this character was that he was too one-dimensional – just seemed like the hard-ass resort owner interested in making money.  In the original, Max seemed like more of the fun uncle that cared about the resort and its runnings, but also seemed to wistfully acknowledge that the days of family vacations at mountain resorts were becoming a thing of the past.  He wasn’t quite the hardass that this version was making him out to be, but I also thought his character was less prominent in this version too…so it left a lot less room for character complexity. Kinda the story with a lot of the characters in the new version, since they seemed intent on wasting so much time on giving so many people a complex storyline that they had to cut time from other characters.

10.) Trevor Einhorn as Neil Kellerman – Y’know, I had a hard time with this one, because in the original, Neil is less “nerdy” and more what I would consider “slightly mayonnaise, but not bad-looking or awkward, per se, young professional” – but they went full on nerd with this one, and also seemed to try to combine the character of Neil with the character of Stan from the original, which was the megaphone-toting comedian & and a minor character played by Wayne Knight.  I think the result was a character that nobody could actually take seriously as a potential love interest for Baby, even when he’s rattling off lines from The Feminine Mystique and mansplaining feminism to Baby. Within the context of the plot, Neil’s not really meant to be funny – and he’s actually meant to be a lot more antagonistic and a bigger threat to Johnny than he came across here.  I think Trevor Einhorn was doing what he was asked – but they were just asking the wrong stuff of him.

11.) Shane Harper as Robbie Gould – Robbie is one of the main antagonists in the original, and Max Cantor (the guy who played him) was an appropriately smarmy & manipulative, putting up a charming facade for guests that concealed a narcissistic agenda. Shane…feels wooden, when he’s trying to antagonize Johnny/Lisa/whoever.  Literally, his face doesn’t really move, so it’s hard to tell if he’s even being serious when making threats to Johnny & Lisa in particular. The threats feel hollow. And he’s not even really part of the main action in this version – granted, he knocked Penny up, but it isn’t revealed until the end of the movie (it’s revealed much earlier in the original); and his relationship with Lisa is pretty brief – he comes on strong, tries to rape her, she runs away and tells him never to speak to her again – all within the first 30 minutes. He was more of a constant background presence in the original, courting Lisa until probably 3/4 through the movie, when she catches him in bed with Mrs. Pressman; he also caught Johnny & Baby in a compromising position, insults Baby, and gets in a fist fight with Johnny as a result.  All of this was omitted in the new version, which I think diminished the impact he had as a villain – to me, he just kinda felt like “that douche-y waiter that only crops up every now and then so it’s pretty easy to ignore him”.

12.) Abigail Breslin as Frances “Baby” Houseman – And now we get down to the real root of the problem with the movie: terribly, horribly, awkwardly miscast leads. Part of me thinks this movie, while its flaws are legion, could have probably turned out halfway-okay if they had just cast a strong leading couple – but instead, we got two leads that were downright PAINFUL to watch interact. Here’s my problem with Abigail: while she has gotten older, the maturity of her acting really hasn’t, and it doesn’t help that she’s just one of those people that has a very youthful-looking face. I would go so far as to say it felt “statutory” watching some of her love scenes with Colt – like a predatory college guy seducing a 14-year-old into bed. The thing about the role of Baby is that, yes, you need someone fairly young that can convey the naivete of someone that’s lived as sheltered a life as Baby; but you also need someone that can convey the burgeoning sexuality of a young woman experiencing adult love for the first time, and discovering herself. Abigail handled the first part fine – it’s the second part (and arguably, the more crucial part) where she failed. And I don’t think the way they styled her helped – the hair was an awkward attempt to invoke Jen Grey’s famous curls (unnecessary) and just looked frumpy, and all of her outfits were either unflattering in their cut or just juvenile & dowdy. Even Jen’s most dowdy costume, the cardigan over the dress, was more youthful and fresh than some of the stuff they put Abigail in. The dress she wore for the mambo with Johnny at the hotel was an absolute abomination – like something out of an 8-year-old’s tap recital. And the dancing – eek. She’s just an awkward mover, and yeah, it kinda works initially because Baby is an awkward mover – but by the end of the original, Baby had become comfortable and confident in her own skin and it showed in her quality of movement. Abigail….still looked awkward, by the final scene, even with the choreography being significantly dumbed-down from the original. Just an all around actor mismatch here, I’m afraid. Even Lea Michele (who seemed to be an early rumor when talk of a remake was floating around) would have been better here, or even Hailee Steinfeld.

13.) Colt Prattes as Johnny Castle – Oof. Probably the hardest performance to watch, because it had the highest expectations and he fell the shortest of his respective expectations more than any other character. First of all, didn’t one of you tell me that Colt is a dancer? And that he has danced professionally in some capacity? Because I wouldn’t believe it, seeing how this guy moves – and I mean dancing, period, not just the quality of his ballroom.  I saw slumped shoulders, some pretty feeble pirouettes, and some rather uncoordinated pelvic thrusting – this guy moves more like a guy whose fiancee has gotten them dance lessons so they can do the famous Dirty Dancing routine at their wedding, than someone that has trained for a prolonged period of time in dance. The acting? My god, talk about robotic. He seems to get this far away, glassy look in his eye when he’s trying to deliver lines, and when he’s trying to be aggressive, it just comes across…phony. And hollow. Or just with the wrong intonation – when he says the famous “Nobody puts baby in a corner!” line at the end, it sounds less sincere, and more like something the male lead in a Dirty Dancing porno spoof might say to the female lead before dropping trou 😛 He & Abigail just completely lacked any chemistry – their vibe was less romantic and more “older guy annoyed by the little girl next door that hangs around him all the time and asks too many questions”. I don’t think we have to worry about Swayze & Grey’s amazing chemistry getting bested by these two. The only thing Colt seemed to do with any level of mastery was the singing, which was the part I probably cared least about because there was NO REASON TO MAKE THIS INTO A MUSICAL IN THE FIRST PLACE. In the end, I’m just left wondering “Really? This guy was the best you could do?” I’m just hard-pressed to believe that they couldn’t have found an established actor that had at the very least dabbled in dance and was a decent study to fill the role – hell, I think Jason Derulo would have actually made a cool (albeit different, and more diverse) Johnny, and would have been a much better dancer. And more charismatic. But my guess is a lot of actors could smell the stink a mile away on the script, and recognized it as a toxic asset and stayed well enough away.  Hope Colt wasn’t hoping for this to be his big break, because he may be persona non grata in Hollywood after this nightmare.

The Soundtrack:

*Songs in bold are ones I would recommend checking out.

“Be My Baby” by Bea Miller: Pretty good.  Bea’s got a nice voice, and I think it stays pretty faithful to the original version by The Ronettes – very Motown girl-group vibe.

“Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Karmin: Didn’t know Karmin was still making music – they were supposedly the “next big thing” for a hot minute, then they kinda dropped off the face of the earth, it seems. This version is…okay, I guess. The famous Frankie Valli falsetto lead in The Four Seasons version gets replaced by a female vocalist singing in a bit of an obnoxiously high, nasal register, and it seems to grate as the song goes on – but overall, I guess the arrangement isn’t too bad.

“Love Man” by J. Quinton Johnson: Feels very “community musical theater” to me. The vocals are neither bad nor memorable; the arrangement feels wayyyy too safe compared to the original…like it’s lacking some bass or something to give it depth.

“Do You Love Me” by Colt Prattes, Nicole Scherzinger, & J. Quinton Johnson: I think this song is a prime example of why trying to make Dirty Dancing into a musical actually hurts it – when you’re trying to include too many cast members’ voices in a song, you tend to end up with a very nondescript, middle-of-the-road arrangement that suits everybody’s vocal range, but isn’t terribly…impactful. Part of the appeal of the original was how awesome the soundtrack is – and the remake has basically taken all the songs and neutered them. Made them karaoke-friendly and easy for the most tone-deaf individual to sing along to, but also made them terribly uninteresting. Pass.

“Fever” by Katey Sagal & Colt Prattes: Not on the original soundtrack, and it’s a song that I usually find to be completely overdone, but considering it’s the only way we were gonna get to hear Katey’s fabulous voice on this soundtrack – I’ll accept it. I love that her voice sounds mature and calm, and not all breathy & overdone like so many younger vocalists.  As for Colt – his voice is almost too gravelly and overwrought here, and kinda assaults your ears after being soothed by Katey’s smooth vocals. Calm down there, killer.

“When I’m Alone” by J. Quinton Johnson: Not quite sure what purpose this song serves on the soundtrack, but it sounds like it’s vaguely inspired by “These Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding, which is woefully absent from the soundtrack – so I wonder if there were issues clearing it…and this is what we got instead. It’s just bland and uninteresting – not a bad song, just terribly unmemorable.

“Wipeout” by American Authors feat. Lindsey Stirling: A slightly modernized update of the original, for the simple reason that it’s hard to really put a new spin on an instrumental song the focuses mostly on the drummer and whose only words are “wipeout” and “yeah” 😛 Thought the addition of Lindsey on violin was a nice switch-up, and gave it an edgier, more unique sound.

“Hungry Eyes” by Greyson Chance: I’ll give Greyson points for having a very interesting, gravelly quality to his voice – but this one is a complete snooze compared to the original from Eric Carmen. They just stripped it down to a pretty bare bones drum machine & synth line, and it sounds too downtempo for the scenes of Johnny & Baby rehearsing. It’s actually kinda depressing.

“Hey Baby” by Lady Antebellum: Probably one of the stronger songs on the soundtrack, simply because the bouncy, uptempo feel of this one seems to suit Lady A’s sound well. Not super exciting, but fun & listenable.

“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” by Nicole Scherzinger & Abigail Breslin: It’s cute and Nicole sounds good (Abigail sounds decent), but it was only added in so Penny & Baby could have a scene together. So I’m just kinda left going “but why, though?”

“Cry to Me” by Seal: I always tend to associate Seal’s breathy, raspy voice with those Pure Moods CD’s that they used to sell on infomercials back in the 90s – so I wouldn’t say I think it’s a suitable substitute for Solomon Burke’s gravelly growling & belting on the original. I would have loved to hear Miguel or even Frank Ocean’s take on this one – Seal’s just feels too…mellow.

“They Can’t Take That Away From Me” by Debra Messing & Bruce Greenwood (in the reprise): Actually quite lovely, as both Debra & Bruce are actually pretty adept, vocally – I’m guessing both have done Broadway or at least musical theater at some point. Not on the original soundtrack, and really only added as part of the Houseman’s marital struggle storyline, but definitely worth a listen.

“Love is Strange” by Abigail Breslin & Colt Prattes: It’s ok.  I’m not particularly fond of the original, so that might color my opinion a bit.

“She’s Like the Wind” by Calum Scott: This is what happens when you try to modernize an 80s ballad by trying to add an EDM feel. I loved the sax-heavy feel of the original, and that’s gone here – just some passionless crooning from Calum with some EDM beats in the background. Man, I loved Swayze’s version.

“Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” by Sarah Hyland & J. Quinton Johnson: Actually a really cute duet, and one of the bright spots on the soundtrack. Part of me thinks the only reason they created a character for Johnson was to justify having songs like this on the soundtrack – which I’m ok with 🙂

“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” – The cast of Dirty Dancing, featuring Abigail Breslin, Colt Prattes, Nicole Scherzinger, Debra Messing, & Bruce Greenwood: By this point, I was so completely over the movie that I didn’t even really pay attention to this song.  I guess it was ok – neither terrible nor great, and doesn’t stick out in my head as memorable.

So did you watch last night? What are your thoughts?