Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Might contain spoilers.
I expected it not to have aged well, but I was happy to be proved wrong. Romola Garai is a curious case: rather good in general, but a few of her lines sound strange, such as when Katey is talking to Javier the morning after. Diego Luna is superb, and it beggars belief that neither of them had any professional dance training before the film. John Slattery does a good job as the father pulled in every direction by his daughter’s happiness, pride in her dancing, not-unfounded fears about the boy she’s fallen for, concerns about his job, and more: he conveys all of that and Bert’s fundamental decency without needing to do much.
Jonathan Jackson is amusingly expressionless as James. It’s interesting that he isn’t a caricature, just a typical, privileged, white American boy with complete disregard for consent and bodily autonomy. January Jones and Mika Boorem are adequate in their paper-thin roles as the mean girl and the sister, respectively. Patrick Swayze is quite good as the dancing teacher. (Thank goodness there was another white person around to explain Cuban dancing to Katey.)
The music remains excellent. Mya is good onscreen, too, as she performs her song during the dance contest.
- Who bears a striking resemblance to Joan Cusack, as it happens.↩