Hollywood, PLEASE will you STOP FIXING WHAT ISN’T BROKEN?!
Latest in line with the ever-present threat of being re-made, Entertainment Weekly report that Kenny Ortega has signed on to direct a re-make of Dirty Dancing. In a statement, Ortega – who was the choreographer of the original film – said:
The opportunity to direct Dirty Dancing is like returning home for me…. Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire did before him. I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can’t wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats.
But seriously, re-making the brilliant chickflick that is Dirty Dancing for WHAT REASON?! (Money, obviously.) They sort of re-made it in 2004, with Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, which has gone down in history as … a footnote, if that? I remember it having Romola Garai in it, but that’s about it. It lacked the unpretentious charm of the original.
But an actual re-make? Sure, you can make it look a lot snazzier with a higher budget, but it won’t be the same. There are some iconic 1980s couples in films that need to be left well alone. I made a list of some of them:
- Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing
- Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman (okay, 1990, but still valid!)
- Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone
- Linda Kozlowski and Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee
- Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford in Working Girl
- Mia Sara and Matthew Broderick in
They all also go under the category of “leave the movies themselves the hell alone, they’re fine as they are, and we LIKE the flaws!” Guess how many of them are set to be re-made? Dirty Dancing and Romancing the Stone. For starters. Haven’t heard anything about the others (touch wood) … yet. If you miss Top Gun off the list, well, I have no memories of it other than it has Tom Cruise and aircraft in it. But they’re still re-making it.
What next? Why not re-make Star Wars? No wait, George Lucas keeps doing that anyway. Also, they’re doing a completely incomprehensible reboot of the Spider Man franchise. The previous reboot hasn’t even had a chance to cool down yet! So the last Spider Man movie didn’t do very well. They could still have salvaged the character and made a fourth one better, instead of re-telling us all the story of how Peter Parker got his spider powers AGAIN. With great power comes great responsibility, Hollywood, remember that. Oh no, I forgot, you don’t give a shit. When they did another Hulk movie shortly after the previous one, at least it was because the first one sucked. Or so I’ve heard. It was on TV the other day, so recorded it just so I could see how bad it really is. It has Eric Bana in it, though, and that immediately makes up for a lot.
What’s wrong with having an original idea for once? Hey, here’s a novel (pun intended) idea: adapt books that haven’t been adapted to death already? I’d love The Eyre Affair or Good Omens, for instance. Not to mention someone should make The Wheel of Time into a TV-series worthy of Game of Thrones.
They also dislike Scandinavialand productions that are clearly awesome. Because they’re, like, all foreign and stuff? Hence why Swedish Män som hatar kvinnor (starring Noomi Rapace and Mikael Nyqvist) has been re-made as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig), as has Danish TV-series Forbrydelsen – which is now called The Killing. Oh yeah, and then there’s Kenneth Branagh’s take on Wallander, which is just bizarre – parading around Ystad using Swedish names and some Swedish actors but speaking English. Seeing as how upcoming The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is filmed in Sweden, judging by the trailer, it’ll be just as weird to watch. Haven’t seen the original film (have bought the books, though, because I keep hearing how awesome they are), but people say it’s good enough to leave as it is.
But yeah, subtitles apparently make foreign people come out in a rash. Or get scurvy. Or something that’s clearly equally unpleasant. What other excuse is there for not leaving the originals alone, aside from plain’ ol’ xenophobia?
Update October 2021: Well, we’re about a month away from Amazon Prime’s first season of The Wheel of Time series, Good Omens has indeed made it into a miniseries (they’re now working on a second season), Hallmark’s Dirty Dancing was atrocious, and Top Gun now has a sequel or something?