Friday, May 4, 2007

Dirty Dancing (with Extended Features)

Last week my friend Stacey had some very exciting news. She had found out that Dirty Dancing was going to be in a theater near us for two nights. Stacey is one of the women I talked about in the chick flick piece who can quote huge chunks of the movie off the top of her head. My friend Laurie is another. To look at the three of us this wouldn’t be the obsession movie you’d think of. The Terminator, maybe, or Psycho. Maybe even Aliens. But not Dirty Dancing. I have the movie on DVD, but the thought of seeing it on a big screen as part of an audience was thrilling. And there were even extended scenes thrown in, too! Not that we really thought anyone else would be there. How many wackos like us could there be, anyway?

To say we were excited is to damn us with faint praise. We arranged our schedules and child care. We put our husbands on alert. We stocked up on Jujubes. We were pathetic we were so excited. The day we were set to go was this past Tuesday, and it was a rough day all around. On my end I had two kids come home with end of the semester projects that had been put off and were due the next day. They both had to be done partially on-line and my internet crashed. I still had my leg of the soccer carpool to drive. I seriously thought about bailing, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t want to let my friends down and I also really wanted to go. So we went, leaving the Film Geek to wrangle with homework and Laurie’s husband John to deal with their kids and Stacey’s kids, since her husband was out of town. We pulled into the theater parking lot feeling giddy with anticipation.

It was sold out. Not a ticket to be had. The harassed guy in the ticket booth was repeating himself incessantly as every group approaching the booth wanted tickets for this movie. This complex has thirty theaters, and everyone wanted seats in this one. Not only was the single show tonight sold out, but the one show the next night was already sold out as well. It was a toss-up as to which one of us cried first, and we wouldn’t have been alone. The sidewalk was filled with knots of women who all looked a little weepy. Every now and then a group would arrive and go to the will call booth to pick up the tickets they had ordered on-line. You can only imagine the hostility we tossed their way. Laurie went in and tried to sweet talk the manager while Stacey and I stayed outside trying to scam some tickets somehow. We considered holding up a little sign that stated our willingness to be scalped. We thought about buying tickets for another movie and then sneaking in. We watched as people gave up and left. We were waiting for a miracle.

We didn’t get it. As the rain started pounding, we climbed back in the car for the thirty minute drive back. I called home to have the Film Geek check to see if it was playing anywhere else. It was. And the only show had started six minutes ago. We were silent until Stacey said “$&*%%!, I HAVE to see this movie tonight. I just have to!!” Well, as fate would have it, my sweet husband had gotten me a new DVD copy (with extended features) as a surprise for getting through my killer class last weekend. He had the movie in one hand and tulips in the other. What a guy. You know what the wife of the year’s response was? “How much did you spend on that??” were, I believe, my exact words. “Don’t worry,” he said. “Twenty year old movies don’t cost much.” So Stacey suggested getting my DVD and taking it back to her house, where she had the theater surround system and ginormous screen. We had a Plan B.

Laurie called John to tell him about the change of plans. He couldn’t believe the show had been sold out. He asked if they had put a car chase or something in the middle to make it interesting. He actually called us freaks for being so upset. We were all yelling at him at once while Laurie held the phone up in the air. She told him he looked pretty bad, since my sweet husband had come through with the DVD and here he was just laughing at us and calling us names. We said a lot of things I can’t repeat on a family blog. He won’t be walking down a dark alley in front of us anytime soon.

We got the movie, picked up some take-out and headed back to Stacey’s. We plopped on her couch with food in laps and got comfortable. It’s Showtime…

The movie was fabulous and cheesy, like it is every single time I watch it. We recited great chunks of dialogue along with the characters and jeered at the people we didn’t like. We let the world know (loudly and in unison) that nobody puts Baby in the corner. And at the end, at the start of the great pay-off dance scene, we all had tears in our eyes and goose bumps on our bodies. Just like always. It was perfect, even if it wasn’t in a theater and on a big screen.


When the movie was over Stacey asked where all the extra scenes had been. Good question, since they obviously weren’t in what we had just watched. I said maybe they were on the second “Extras” disc. We all thought that was the answer, so we looked for them. They weren’t there. There was a moment of silence, before Stacey, in her Baltimore brogue, said “Hon, where exactly did your husband get this disc?” The upshot, of course, is that it wasn’t the new, commemorative version with the extended scenes. It was the old version that he had gotten at Half Price Books, with not an extended scene in sight. Straight off the clearance rack, so to speak. Now, all of a sudden, scorn was being heaped on the Film Geek’s head. “Wait a cotton pickin’minute,” I said. “Why is my husband turning into the schmuck here?” It was a valid and logical point, if I do say so myself, and the overheated ladies calmed down a tad. Women with husbands in the dog house or on business trips should never watch Patrick Swayze dance shirtless. It messes with the wiring in your brain somehow. I know it messes with mine, and I don’t even particularly like Patrick Swayze. Except in this movie, of course.

We can only hope that this movie goes back into some kind of re-release, if only briefly. This time you can bet we’ll buy our tickets in advance. Those extended features are hanging over our heads.


m@ said...

Only hanging over your heads until May 8- that's when the version with extra footage (the one that Stacey damned me for not buying- sorry, but I'm no time traveller) is being released.

Oh, and I actually went to THREE places for that disc- Hastings finally had it, brand-new and full-price (bit more than Amazon, actually.)

I mean well, I really do... said...

Did you not catch that I was DEFENDING you????

m@ said...

No, I caught that. Just letting you (and your friends) know that the new one (with extra footage) comes out May 8... and that sometimes I work harder to get you impulsive, romantic gifts than you might think...