Why the Blockbuster Happy Ending Works in Dirty Dancing – Time of My Life

Happy Endings Speak to the Heart and Soul of the Audience

Blockbuster movies follow a proven formula, taking you step by step to a story climax – the point of irreversible change  where the final conflict is resolved. If filmed correctly, it will speak directly to the heart and soul of the audience and will draw them into the world of the characters so much so that they leave with the same visceral feeling the characters experience.  In the happy ending, viewers walk out of the movie feeling so good that they can’t stop talking about it and go back to see the movie over and over again.

Why the Movie Dirty Dancing Works

Dirty Dancing was a box office smash.  It combined several different winning plot lines, including forbidden love, maturation or coming of age, rescue and transformation.  The climax of the story, where Johnny returns to rescue Baby and dance with her on stage, resolves many conflicts that leave the audience feeling hopeful. Why? Because not only does boy rescue and win the girl in one of the best romantic moments on film, but good triumphs over evil on several levels:  ethical behavior is rewarded and unethical behavior is punished, truth prevails over false allegations and ego-based lies, the underdogs are given their shining moments on stage, and forbidden love is finally free to express itself.

Notice how you feel when you watch the end of the Dirty Dancing video. Not only does the story work but also the music.  Bottom line, Dirty Dancing ignites in you that same romantic spark and passionate fire that the characters experience. That is why it works.

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by Beth Rosen, Copyright © 2012 All rights reserved


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