Sweet satisfaction from ‘Havana Nights’

It’s not a sequel or a remake. That’s the first thing you shouldknow about “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.”

The movie is actually nothing like the original “Dirty Dancing.”Instead, it is a retelling of the classic story for a newgeneration.

The story takes place in 1958 in Havana, Cuba at a time when thecountry was in political unrest. Here, two people from differentworlds find love through their shared passion for dancing.

It begins when a brainy and conservative American named Katey(Romola Garai) is relocated to Cuba with her family. There shemeets the proud, but poor, waiter named Javier (Diego Luna). Shediscovers Javier has a knack for dancing and becomes instantlyattracted to and intrigued by his confident, sensual style ofmovement. Eager to learn how to move that way and become closer toJavier, she convinces him to enter a dance contest with her.Together, they secretly meet and practice. As well as teaching herthe dance steps, Javier teaches Katey how to really let go andbecome her own person. As their dancing heats up, so do theirfeelings for each other.

“Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” is a very entertaining movie. Thedance scenes are incredibly sexy and fun to watch. Rising starsGarai and Luna have great chemistry on screen. Some highlightsinclude the scene where Katey and Javier are watching a film ofKatey’s parents performing a ballroom dance. Inspired by thepassion and love the parents seemed to exude in their dancing,Katey and Javier begin to dance together. This is the first timethat Katey truly lets herself go and just gets caught up in themoment. Prior to this scene, she had been stiff, timid and tooafraid to just let her emotions take over.

Another great scene is when the audience finally gets to see allof Katey and Javier’s long hours of practice pay off. They surpriseeveryone by performing their dance in the semi-final dancecompetition. They hit every step and are perfectly in tune witheach other. The dance is amazing and probably one of the mostentertaining scenes of the movie.

A low point in the movie, however, is the cameo made by PatrickSwayze, star of the original “Dirty Dancing.” His guest appearanceas a dance instructor seemed awkward and out of place. It wasunnecessary and really had no relevance to the story. It seemedlike a cheesy way of connecting the two movies together. “DirtyDancing: Havana Nights” would have been better off not connectingitself with the original “Dirty Dancing,” because in all actuality,it is a completely different movie and it should be able to standon its own.

The soundtrack to “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” alsocontributed to the movie’s entertainment factor. The music playedthroughout the movie is fun and danceable. Although somewhatcontemporary for the year 1958, it proves to be more appealing forthis generation. The soundtrack includes contributions by BlackEyed Peas, Wycelf Jean, Mya, Christina Aguilera and Santana.

“Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” boasts hot moves and fun musicand it does not fail to deliver.