Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

26 July 2004

2004 Movie #28

Tonight I watched Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.  I rented it for Diego Luna, who gets hotter and hotter every single day.  This movie sucked so incredibly bad.  Of the twenty-eight movies I've seen this year, this one has so far sucked the worst.  Romola Garai is ugly.  Ugly.  I know she is white and she can kind of dance, but that is no reason that anyone as cute as Diego Luna should fall for her. 

So Romola Garai and her family move to Cuba right before the revolution, and she is this well-meaning, overdressed, Jane Austen-reading square when they move there.  All sweaters and clunky shoes (this is the 1950's after all.)  This girl dresses like Donna Reed (but ugly, did I mention that?) and in Cuba, where, we all assume, it's freaking hot.  Everyone else is sweating.  Romola Garai is wearing sweaters.  She realizes that she's square pretty quickly.  She never ever becomes cool, really, but she does figure out that she is dressing a tad to warmly.  So she gets one of the staff at her hotel to lend her a dress.  I'm fine with it so far, but from then on in the film, she is never out of fashion.  Ever.  She has cute strappy shoes and low-cut tops and flowing skirts.  Just speaking logistically this is a huge problem.  How did she afford these clothes?  Where did she find them in 1950's Cuba?  Even if she knew where to get them, who picked them out?  She didn't get taste overnight, right?  Lame.

And there is scene after scene of stupidity.  Everything that we're used to in these movies happens: Romola Garai knows the Odyssey better than the other white students at their white school.  Her white boyfriend (Jonathan Jackson: also hot) tries to have his way with her but she doesn't tell anyone because it might jeopardize her dad's job.  (What??)  Patrick Swayze is in Cuba for some reason giving himself botox injections.  One minute the Cubans are "those people" to Romola's family, and then next minute everyone's getting down at the local Cuban nightclub.  The music is sometimes cool, but most of the time just plain anachronistic.  I'm sorry, but hip hop was not invented in Cuba in the 1950's.  It just wasn't... and strappy shoes weren't in either.  I like Heather Headley, and I can do with the Black Eyed Peas, but Mya?  Why is she in Cuba (looking not the least bit Cuban)?

This movie was painful to watch.  The worst part was Romola Garai herself, who was in nearly every scene fugging it up.  She can't act either.  She just looks earnest in every scene.  As though everything she does is new and painful but she's pretending to like it.

Straight to the bottom.  Worst movies of 2004 so far:

Worst: Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

Runner up: The Dreamers

Second Runner Up: The Mother