It’s summer 1963 and college kids carry copies of The Fountainhead in their back pocket and condoms in their wallet. It’s also a time for Directorty Dancing and in her 17th summer, at a Borscht Belt resort, Baby Houseman (Jennifer Grey) learns how to do it in this skin-deep but inoffensive teen-throb pic designed to titillate teenage girls.
A headstrong girl bucking for a career in Peace Corps, Baby gets an education in life and loses her innocence when she befriends a young dancer (Cynthia Rhodes) in need of an abortion. She also gets involved with the hotel’s maverick dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze).
Good production values, some nice dance sequences and a likable performance by Grey make the film more than watchable, especially for those acquainted with the Jewish tribal mating rituals that go on in the Catskill Mountain resorts. Swayze’s character is played too soft to be convincing.
1987: Best Song (‘I’ve Had the Time of My Life’)