Feaurette! Katie Cotugno + Dirty Dancing

What Katie Cotugno wrote about her first experience with watching Dirty Dancing so closely resembled my own that I almost didn't write my part of the post. But here I am, sharing my story anyway. (But seriously, what Katie wrote is so much more awesome.)

I saw Dirty Dancing for the first time, when I was probably around seven or eight, on TV. Which means it was the edited, family-friendly version. This suited me just fine because while there were definitely some things going over my head, all I cared about was the dancing, Baby rebelling against what everyone thought of her and Patrick Swayze (the man can dance). I watched that movie SO many times. It was easily one of my favorite movies as a kid. Anytime it was on TV, I stopped to watch. Something about the story, the music and of course the famous dance at the end always got to me.

Here's the funny part. It wasn't until I bought the DVD in either high school or college that I saw the whole un-edited version of the movie. I had two reactions. One, where did all these extra scenes come from? And two, I finally understood Penny's story. (*face palm*) I definitely need a re-watch soon.

Now, joining me today is author Katie Cotugno who's going to tell us why she loves this movie. 


I saw Dirty Dancing for the first time in my cousin Danielle's room when I was seven or eight and too young to understand anything but the mambo (spoiler alert: I didn't really understand the mambo, either). I saw it for the second time when I was thirteen or fourteen, and in the years since I've watched it enough that I can literally recite the entire thing start to finish.

(I won't. But I could!)

Dirty Dancing is one of my all-time favorite movies for a lot of different reasons. One, because I'm contrary and it's exactly the kind of movie guys like to say is stupid without having watched it. Two, because it's wicked feminist (Baby has a sexual awakening and nothing bad happens to her! Penny has an abortion and something bad does happen to her, but only because she doesn't have access to the healthcare all women deserve!). And three, most importantly, because of the Hungry Eyes montage.

my review!
I knew that if I was going to write a book that took place over the course of the summer, like 99 DAYS does, it was definitely going to be an homage to Dirty Dancing in a lot of ways, and I especially kept thinking about Kellerman's resort as I was imagining the vacation town of Star Lake. I really wanted to try and recreate the humid atmosphere of the movie: that super-intimate, almost claustrophobic feeling, like it really is a whole world unto itself and when you're there everything outside it just kind of seeps away. The kind of place where you could fall in love with a person you never expected. The kind of place where your actions could have consequences you never even dreamed. The kind of place where you could take a flying leap off a stage at the end of the last dance of summer, and Patrick Swayze would carry you right on out the door and into the rest of your life.

(I'm kidding. Patrick Swayze does not appear in 99 DAYS. But not for lack of me trying to get him in there.)

Thank you Katie for stopping by the blog today! 
I hope we convinced you all to check out this movie! 

And with that, here's one of my favorite lines from the movie: 

(P.S. I really hope you guys liked the new feature! I already have other author/movie pairings in mind. But some of my other favorite movies include: Almost Famous, Once, Two For the Road, Labyrinth and Empire Records. If you know of any authors who love these movies too, please email or tweet me! Thanks!) 


  1. I LOVE Dirty Dancing, well, if that didn't convince me to read 99 Days, I don't know what else will. :) Great post.

  2. You both shared such beautiful stories about Dirty Dancing! I love it, and I love this post, and now I want to watch Dirty Dancing and read 99 Days -- again ;)


with love,