March 10, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 83  

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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
Gazette Staff

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 masterpiece.

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 receives.




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