Monday, September 28, 2009

What a MAN!

The news of Patrick Swayze's passing was sad, but if I'm being honest; I didn't really give it much thought until I watched the tribute to him on "Dancing With The Stars" last week. Although it wasn't quite the same as watching the original; I thought the dancers did a very good job on the recreation and I will admit that I was moved to tears.
It really doesn't matter how many times I've seen the "Time of My Life" routine or who's dancing it; my reaction is always the same ~ I just love it! I love the song, I love the dance, and I LOVE the movie.
I was a junior in college when "Dirty Dancing" premiered and I couldn't wait to get to the theater. I so related to what this movie was about: a setting just like The Pines, a guest / staff romance, AND dancing. It seemed like this movie was made for me. I fell in love with "Dirty Dancing" and the character of Johnny Castle upon first viewing. No, it wasn't that I had a crush on Patrick Swayze but THE MAN that he was portraying. Yes, Johnny was such A MAN to the girl that baby was and I think he made all of us girls want A MAN. (A man as in a mature being ~ no offense ladies.)
I remember how hopeful I felt watching the love story of Baby and Johnny. How I cried when I watched the scenes between Baby and her father, because my father was gone; and I truly remember feeling that I was ready to have a MAN in my life as opposed to the boys that I'd been spending time with. And all of these feelings drove me back to the theater to see it, again and again and again.
I bought the soundtrack upon its release, the video and the DVD and yet, every time I come across it on TV, it's one of those movies that I can't pass up; even though I could just as easily take it out of its box and watch it commercial free. Oh who amongst us didn't want to crawl across the floor with Johnny to "You're the one," didn't want to dance with Johnny in his room while it poured, or have him for their very own? As a young woman I found watching their relationship exciting and compelling and I wanted one just like it; dancing and all. Oh I could list hundreds of reasons (and you know I could; ) why I loved / love "Dirty Dancing" so much, but I think that one of the most profound reasons is because it was actually the first romantic movie that I had seen where it wasn't just the man rescuing the woman. Yes, Johnny did rescue Baby, (from the corner) but she rescued him too. She showed him that his life could be different from what it had been and that he could choose to have whatever type of life he wanted; and then he even told her (and everyone else) that she had done this for him; which in my opinion made him even more of a MAN.

Not only did Patrick Swayze play a good MAN; he was also capable of playing a very good woman. For those of you who never saw "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar;" I highly recommend it; if you are looking for a feel good, B rate movie that will give you a tickle; (and I am the Queen of B RATE MOVIES after all.) Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo in drag; need I say more? Probably not, but you know I will... Patrick Swayze's character, Vida Boehme was not just a man dressing up as a woman but a man trying to live his life as a GOOD woman. And I must say that he was a lot more graceful in body and spirit than a lot of the "real women" that we encounter in our day to day lives. Vida Boehme was the embodiment of what she believed a real woman should be: feminine, thoughtful, kind, well mannered, respectful and strong. She was poetry in motion; and we have Patrick Swayze to thank for that example.

During his life, Patrick Swayze may not have won an Oscar but he did win our hearts; and I'm sure that he will not be forgotten. I hope that Patrick Swayze had the time of his life and that he rests in peace.
Till next time...


Michelle said...

Well said, QOE, well said. How very sad for us all to have lost such a bright star in our little galaxy. You made me sniffle some more over the loss of this fine actor/dancer/human being.

ceruleanblue said...

I love this post Paige, you have captured exactly how I feel about Dirty Dancing/Patrick Swayze, I could almost have written this myself. Dirty Dancing is my all time favourtite film, and still gives me goosebumps when I watch it. I so remember those years, full of teenage yearning.....