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Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times is unimpressed:

Every once in a while a movie comes through with a daring brand of emotional and filmmaking honesty that redefines the medium. "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" is not such a movie.

http://movies2.nytimes.com/2004/02/27/movies/27DIRT.html (reg. req.)

I'll probably check it out anyway if only for the sake of Diego Luna. I didn't think it would be good, but one always hopes.......

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Saw the movie tonight. I went to see it for the same reason. :wink: I'm also a sucker for latin ballroom and couldn't miss it.

Eeh, the dancing was so-so coming from the two leads. It seemed hardly to be set during the 50s considering the music used in the movie and the continuous bump-and-grind throughout. Yes, cumbia is very sexual and dancers get up close and personal, but the way it was done in this film was very 21st century. The best dancing came from Patrick Swayze and a leggy dancer in the scene the two make their first appearance. Not as good as the original Dirty Dancing.

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I agree. It does make you appreciate the original movie, though – it seems like a very slight piece, and it is, but it has a real feel for the period (although Patrick is very eighties), the music, and you see lots of real dancing. Romola Garai and Diego Luna are clearly not pros, although the latter at least shows enthusiasm and energy, and unfortunately this also means that we don't get to see many expert dancers who would show them up. When the action moves to the clubs, it's not so much dancing as sweating and groping (it's very odd, the Anglos in the movie never perspire even in the hottest weather and the Cubans are perpetually dripping) and as Old Fashioned says, it's very contemporary groping, not what they'd have been doing back then. When Swayze appears, his smooth moving is such a relief you feel like cheering.

Also, Garai is, on the evidence of this, quite a bad actress; she seems to be all jawline, and she's a little too hearty for either Luna or Jonathan Jackson – when the latter comes on to her a little strong in a car, you don't know why she doesn't just swat him aside like a mosquito. Her character is supposed to be a star student, Radcliffe-bound, although this seems doubtful considering that she scrunches up her forehead to indicate she's thinking. :)

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