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The Time of My Life

Dirty Dancing

136 pages
Ecw Press

An engaging exploration into the enduring popularity of Dirty Dancing and its lasting themes of feminism, activism, and reproductive rights

When Dirty Dancing was released in 1987, it had already been rejected by producers and distributors several times over, and expectations for the summer romance were low. But then the film, written by former dancer Eleanor Bergstein and starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze as a couple from two different worlds, exploded. Since then, Dirty Dancing’s popularity has never waned. The truth has always been that Dirty Dancing was never just a teen romance or a dance movie — it also explored abortion rights, class, and political activism, with a smattering of light crime-solving.

In The Time of My Life, celebrated music journalist Andrea Warner excavates the layers of Dirty Dancing, from its anachronistic, chart-topping soundtrack, to Baby and Johnny’s chemistry, to Bergstein’s political intentions, to the abortion subplot that is more relevant today than ever. The film’s remarkable longevity would never have been possible if it was just a throwaway summer fling story. It is precisely because of its themes — deeply feminist, sensitively written — that we, over 30 years later, are still holding our breath during that last, exhilarating lift.

About the Pop Classics Series

Short books that pack a big punch, Pop Classics offer intelligent, fun, and accessible arguments about why a particular pop phenomenon matters.

Author Bio

Andrea Warner lives in Vancouver on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Her books include Rise Up and Sing!: Power, Protest, and Activism in Music and Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography. Andrea is also the co-writer and associate producer of the documentary Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On.