High school senior Katey moves to Havana in November 1958, when her dad gets a promotion at Ford. She meets a local waiter, who introduces her to sensual Cuban music/dance. They enter a big dance contest for the prize when he gets fired.
In November 1958, the American teenager Katey Miller moves with her parents and her younger sister to Havana. Her father is an executive of Ford expatriated to Cuba, and Katey is an excellent high school senior student that misses her friends. The family is lodged in a fancy hotel, where Katey accidentally meets the local teenage waiter Javier Suarez. Later she sees Javier dancing in a public square and they become friends, but he is fired from the hotel because her acquaintances have seen them together. Katey invites Javier to participate of a Latin Ballroom Contest in the local Palace club to help him to raise some money, and she secretly meets him in the La Rosa Negra nightclub for rehearsals. Later they fall in love for each other in times of revolution.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Miranda Garrison, the Assistant Choreographer, and actress of "bungalow bunny" Vivian Pressman for Dirty Dancing (1987), served as the Assistant Choreographer and a featured dancer in this movie, making her and Patrick Swayze the only performers seen in both movies. See more »
As Javier and Katey are dancing behind the projection cloth, Katey's dress straps switch up and down as shots change. See more »
[Javier is trying to teach Katey to move her hips. He places his hand on her butt, and she flinches away]
God! Do you have to be such a guy?
Ok. Ok, I'll be the girl.
[Opens his shirt and pulls his hair out of his face. He 'dances']
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Patrick Swayze makes little more than a guest appearance in 'Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,' the misbegotten 'sequel' to the 1987 box office smash that turned the actor into a bona fide movie star.
This time around the focus is on Katey Miller (Romola Garai), a high school senior who moves with her family to Cuba in 1958, right on the eve of the Castro revolution. While there, she goes from being a white-bread, college-bound bookworm to a hot-blooded Latin dancer under the tutelage of a young Cuban ('Y Tu Mama Tambien's Diego Luna) who works poolside at the hotel where she and many other Americans live. Naturally, her cavorting around with a dark-skinned native raises a whole host of hackles among the snooty foreigners who live only to feed off the sweat and hard work of the indigenous population.
Naturally, it is the dancing that is the key element in a film of this type, but even the choreography, which isn't really all that impressive to begin with, can't overcome the film's humdrum storyline, shallow characterizations and infantile view of international politics. The complexities of the Cuban revolution are glossed over in favor of soap opera mechanics and corny melodramatics. As 'Doctor Zhivago' proved long ago (only better), there's nothing like a governmental overthrow to put a little sizzle into your love life.
As noted earlier, Swayze stops by briefly to reprise his role as Johnny Castle, providing Katie with a few words of wisdom and encouragement and showing her a few nifty dance moves before sending her on her way. I hope Swayze was paid well for his efforts, but it seems a bit demeaning for a star of Swayze's caliber to be treated in so ungrateful and cavalier a fashion. The irony is that the film would have been far more interesting had it focused on Castle instead of Katie, but it's obvious that the studio executives who green lighted this project weren't about to bankroll a dance film with a middle-aged actor in the lead role. That 'Shall We Dance?' will wind up doing far better at the box office than 'Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights' may provide some sweet vindication not only for Swayze but for all the fans of the original film for which this sequel was allegedly made.
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