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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 8.24%
Average: 18.82%
Pretty Bad: 10.59%
Total Crap: 8.24%

3 reviews, 67 user ratings

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Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
[] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"I've had el tiempo of my vida."
3 stars

It is hard not to smile at a movie as simple as "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights." The characters are basic, their motivations are clear, the complications are straightforward, and the resolutions are easily arrived at. It's like a children's story, but with more rhythmic pelvic thrusting.

Borrowing its title and several plot elements from the cheesy 1987 cult classic, "Havana Nights" is set in Cuba in late 1958, on the very eve of revolution. Blond, wide-eyed Katey (Romola Garai) has been uprooted to Havana -- during her senior year, no less! -- because her father's job as an auto-maker bigwig requires him there. There are other American kids living at their hotel, notably James Phelps (Jonathan Jackson), an Aryan posterboy whose WASPish parents have connived with Katey's WASPish parents to make the two into an upper-class uber-couple.

Katey's not interested in James, though. She sorta likes Javier (Diego Luna), the bird-faced cabana boy who spends his idle hours dancing Cuban-style in clubs with names like La Rosa Negra. Katey and Javier are an unlikely couple, from two different worlds, but they have something in common: a love for, how you say, the dance.

And so there is a dance contest, and all the WASPs are appalled to discover Katey associating with this local boy, and James is indignant, and there's a lot of ballyhoo and folderol and what-have-you, all of which is solved with minimal melodrama and not too much bloodshed.

It is set against the backdrop, however unfocused, of the people's revolution, led by Fidel Castro. Javier's brother is a revolutionary, and their father died for the cause. If the people win, Cuba has a new beginning and Javier has a reason to stay. If they don't, Javier would love to win the dance contest and take his family to America with the prize money.

Romola Garai and Diego Luna don't exactly smolder as a couple, and their romance is depicted so chastely, except for one brief scene, that you generally forget they're even supposed to be in love. (For a lot of movies, this one included, the only way to show that two people are in love is to have them doin' it. Take that away, and the filmmakers are stumped.) Garai has an uncommonly flat method of delivering her lines, such that when she began to utter one in particular -- "I'm so happy that I could see all this with you" -- I honestly believed the character was reciting a poem or a line from Shakespeare, not spontaneously expressing her own feelings.

Patrick Swayze has a cameo as a dance instructor, and it's alarming to realize he still wears those tight leather pants. (No, I do not believe a costume designer asked him to wear them for the film. I believe he wears them constantly, in his daily life, and has done so since 1987.)

I also feel compelled to mention that one of the Latin-flavored songs heard on the soundtrack includes these lines: "Hey you, Papi/Don't you stoppy/I wanna see you move your body."

I said the film was simple, and it is. Some movies' simplicity feels like a sign of dumbness on the part of their creators, but here it just feels refreshingly unpretentious. When I try to think of how they could have made the film more complex, all the ideas I come up with sound contrived and fake. And maybe when all attempts to add depth to your film fail, that's when it's time to abort the project, but oh well. They went ahead anyway, and they have a harmless little movie to show for it.

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originally posted: 02/28/04 19:45:49
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User Comments

5/13/09 Sirry This movie is the best !!!! 5 stars
12/05/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
4/01/08 doggie 1 Dirty Dancing was WAY BETTER then this one.i HATE Havana Nights 1 stars
3/27/08 Heather I HATE this movie.The first is WAYYYY BETTER 1 stars
8/01/07 Maria i love it!!!it is mz favorite!!! 5 stars
7/24/07 mbs It's clean,fun, and enjoyable. Isn't that the meaning of entertainment? Luna was great. 5 stars
2/03/07 Sylvia I was impressed when I saw it 5 stars
11/26/06 AL Predicatable, the all too modern music takes away from the setting and feeling of the era. 2 stars
6/27/06 Ashley Hinz Forgettable, but a decent movie to see once. 3 stars
6/25/06 lucinda i loved it, it makes u want to dance like them!!!! 5 stars
12/24/05 Laura Doe I love this movie and it was wonderful! anyone who disagrees needs to find their priorties 5 stars
12/12/05 lisa i loved it so much it was so good! 5 stars
11/26/05 cr a decent sequel with some sexy cuban dances and true love story, cool but not good as 1 3 stars
11/21/05 Sherilyn To comment on the movie and any ratings, it is Javier, not Xavier. Spanish peeps! 4 stars
11/15/05 noops gr8 movie...i love Romola.... 5 stars
10/15/05 Crystal I loved it!!!!!!1 5 stars
9/25/05 Malcolm Brown Brilliant, great dancing 4 stars
7/30/05 jessi I totally loved it ... i wish i could dance 5 stars
4/09/05 Janet Corkerin I thought it was postively fantastic! Passionate...very sensual ! 5 stars
2/18/05 Missy Mc total disappointment 2 stars
1/09/05 portia smith it was AWESOME 5 stars
12/28/04 Cara so...let me just fuck diego? k. 5 stars
11/25/04 Brittney I loved it . It was a great movie. 5 stars
11/23/04 Mockingbird So badly acted and petty that it's hilarious, a teenage girl's wet dream 4 stars
11/15/04 Kelly OMG I LOVE Dirty Dancing Havanah Nights. I've seen it 9 times, and I LOVE DIego Luna 5 stars
8/24/04 Bilbo Good film. Garai is a hottie. Nuff said. 5 stars
8/10/04 tatum Living la vida communista 3 stars
7/30/04 katie i could watch it over n over agen DIEGO LUNA is the hottest thing 5 stars
7/18/04 lheolyne mandigal incredible! excellent!! 5 stars
7/13/04 maya it's a wonderfull film about love,dance and passion. You will fal in love with diego luna ! 5 stars
7/09/04 sam loved it 5 stars
5/18/04 nadine khedr this movie is just a great one and should not be critisized on story but on the dancing 5 stars
5/10/04 Leena It was great. Although the plot ain't that good, the dancing was breath taking 5 stars
5/07/04 Andrea anti- American, pro-communist drivel. Boring as hell anyway. 1 stars
4/01/04 charlie faboulous!!! Best movie I've seen in a while. 5 stars
3/27/04 Candace this movie was great...very teen friendly 5 stars
3/27/04 Gretchen good music, fun, loved it 5 stars
3/24/04 Margie Diego Luna is very hot, but even he couldn't save this movie :-( 2 stars
3/21/04 Lizz It's thinr brdt movie EVA!!!!!!!!! Diego Luna Isthe hottest man eva!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/21/04 Jesse Pretty good, music and dancing made me and my friends want to dance, and we don't know how. 4 stars
3/20/04 Christy Predictable, Typical? Yes. Fun & Worth Seeing? Definitely! 5 stars
3/13/04 Danyelle It was really great, since I'm a latin dancer I can connect. Plus Diego Luna is hott... 5 stars
3/06/04 nare grigorian this movie has inspired me to get tango and salsa dancing classes 5 stars
3/06/04 Someone This was the stupidest fucking movie i have ever seen!! 1 stars
3/04/04 Todd You people are all fucking morons!! It was a million times worse than the first one!!!!!!!! 1 stars
3/04/04 erica i loved the movie. i think it was fabulous. 5 stars
3/03/04 atanu it is not wonderful. its pathetic, at par with you. 1 stars
3/03/04 Shelly I thought the movie was WONDERFUL!!!! 5 stars
3/03/04 Laurie Dido I LOVED THIS MOVIE! it is my 2nd favorite movie with Pirates of the Caribean as my 1st! 5 stars
3/03/04 Joey I really liked this movie, the dancing was awesome!!!! 4 stars
3/02/04 Jennie I absolutely loved it! I can't remember the last movie I loved as much as this one! 5 stars
3/02/04 Katia Pierre Loved it way better than the first. At least these dancers had rythm & Diego is Beautiful 5 stars
3/02/04 Monina Hernandez U guys rocked 5 stars
3/01/04 djacosta A simple movie 3 stars
3/01/04 The Emperor's New Clothes Sometimes you just have to laugh. Cooba! Represent Represent! We do it dirty! dirty dancing 4 stars
3/01/04 Gia This movie was GREAT! The perfect treat after a year of nothing but dry acting. 5 stars
3/01/04 Jessica Very hot and steamy movie the dancing is very sexy, plus the guy is sooo hott! 5 stars
3/01/04 Jenn Lorenzo It was awesome!!! 5 stars
3/01/04 Marla It was possibly the GREATEST movie I've seen sinse finding nemo. 5 stars
3/01/04 C Boudreau I loved it, lots and lots of dancing. 4 stars
2/29/04 Marie LeBlanc Cuban dude hot. Chick ok. Acting terrible. Dancing rocked. That's all there is. 5 stars
2/29/04 Carterlynn Michaels A.W.E.S.O.M.E! enough said! 5 stars
2/29/04 Miori It was a really fun movie that people in the theater clapped and laughed to. 5 stars
2/29/04 Niquela Iy was AWSOME !!!!!!! 5 stars
2/28/04 atanu sucks. what did you expect? 1 stars
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  27-Feb-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-Jul-2004


  13-May-2004 (PG)

Directed by
  Guy Ferland

Written by
  Ronald Bass

  Romola Garai
  Diego Luna
  Mika Boreem
  Jonathan Jackson
  January Jones
  Patrick Swayze

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