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We'll always have 'Havana Nights'

I believe in remakes. "Father of the Bride," "Ocean's Eleven," "The Parent Trap"... Each version was a classic in its own time.

And despite the fact that the recently announced "Dirty Dancing" remake -- most likely -- won't hold a candle to the 1987 dance flick, I'm optimistic.

With all the buzz surrounding "Dirty Dancing" 2.0, which will be directed by the original film's choreographer, Kenny Ortega, it's easy to forget that this isn't the first reboot. In 2004, "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" was released.

And this brings me to my confession: I really liked "Havana Nights."

Before you skip down to the comments section and unleash fury, I am aware that "Havana Nights" isn't nearly as good as "Dirty Dancing." Diego Luna and Romola Garai don't even look like Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey's understudies.

But if you take it for what it is, a dance movie with its own spin on a classic storyline, it's really an enjoyable flick. Plus, there are some pretty funny scenes -- whether or not they were intended to be comical, I'm not sure.

"Havana Nights" worked because it didn't try to introduce us to a new Baby, a new Johnny Castle, or even a present day Catskills resort. It took what I have officially dubbed the "Friends With Benefits" approach: Same story, different movie.

"Friends With Benefits," starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, hit theaters just six months after Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher's "No Strings Attached." Both films featured two friends attempting to engage in a casual, sexual relationship.

Of course, in "Dirty Dancing's" case, 17 years went by before another film adopted the plotline.

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Sunday, 21 April 2024

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