There are loads of great posts today about Patrick Swayze after his death yesterday but my favourite is from Anna Pickard in The Guardian (here) which includes this quote about Dirty Dancing.
"The film – I have no idea how it did in the cinema. What I do know it was shown at almost every sleepover I attended in my teens, and spoken of in hushed tones, like a cross between a secret first-love-manual and porn."
I think that is the way many women of a particular age experienced Dirty Dancing and is a fine example of how people use films socially and culturally. As a younger teenager, girls' film conversations tended to develop from either Dirty Dancing or Pretty Woman (I was gladly on the Dirty Dancing side) with few other films being considered for movie nights or get-togethers. While I am glad that ageing has diversified our tastes, there was also something comforting in that shared understanding of a particular film as cultural event.
Update: Libby Brooks in today's Guardian also writes about Dirty Dancing's importance in her teen-hood here.