ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
These Nights are dirrrty
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Starring: Mya, Diego Luna, Romola Garai, Sela Ward
Directed by: Guy Ferland
By Paul Leishman
and Dave Picard
Lion’s Gate Films/2004
RIVERDANCE. Diego Luna and Romola Garai frolic in the watery shores of
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. Sadly, they do not drown.
In keeping with the recent theme of unnecessarily long film titles, DirtyDancing:
Havana Nights should be more aptly titled: Cross-Cultural Groping Amidst Castro-Brand
Political Turmoil, Soft-Focus Dancing in Various Settings, All Very Touching,
Motivated By Pathetic Teen Rebellion and Off-Screen Fucking: The Related-In-Title-Only
Cash-Cow Spinoff: Havana Nights.
Apparently, the recent past saw a thrilling Grade 4 writing contest, with
winners Victoria Arch and Ronald Bass cooking up this delectable cinematic
It takes at least a nine-year-old student to produce the following plot, as
narrated by the main character, Katey Miller (Garai): I’m an uppity bitch
with a rich daddy. No, I don’t go to Western. My family moves to Cuba,
where I altruistically pity a young, mistreated Spanish waiter, Javier Suarez
(Luna). Maybe if we enter a dance contest together, he can help his stereotypically
poor family, and I can show off my smokin’ good-girl-gone-bad guns. Ooooh.
Teen rebellion is hot, hot, hot! And I’m so bad.
Naturally, a cheesy romance ensues with the help of a climactic dirty dance-off.
After doing the boom-boom in the bedroom, tensions rise between the lovers
and she gets clingy. When asked to return to the United States with Katey,
Javier refuses and is forced to pull the “This is my country” card:
everyone’s used this one at least once.
The casting department adds to the film’s many noticeable mistakes.
Luna is years from puberty and the ability to get an erection. Garai, of ample
bosom and ugly name, is believable as a sterile lump, unable to procreate or
act. Thus, the romantic tension the film is so heavily dependent on is as sexy
as the thought of scratching a horse’s ass.
Moving from bad to worse, Cuba is cleverly depicted as the Spanish Soul Train.
EVERY street is bustling with exuberant dancers and the flava’d musical
styling of unemployed elders.
Fidel Castro must be more persuasive than R.Kelly in order to convince a country
of terribly oppressed people to dance their sorrows away. Based on the level
of dry and not-so-dry humping, all Cuban dance clubs must have served as the
inspiration for skanky London bars.
Maybe Dirty’s creators thought guest appearances would sell the film.
Patrick Swayze’s brief cameo induces vomit; eight-year-old girls doing
ballet have been more masculine.
Mya also graces Dirty’s silver screen — her acting is not like
whoa. And who could forget Sela Ward’s role as young Katey’s abusive
and racist mother. Ward’s acting hasn’t been this good since Sisters.
Sela, the acting world is your oyster.
If you enjoy a plotless film starring last year’s not-quite-It-boy shanking
a girl he barely knows, then Dirty will be your cup of listless, placid tea.
However, Dirty earns five caliente stars: either for the surprisingly enjoyable
soundtrack or for the shocking bitch-slapping that Garai’s character