Dirty Dancing features an iconic couple in Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, but how old is Jennifer Grey, what’s their age gap, and does that make the movie a problem? Dirty Dancing is somewhat autobiographical for screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein, as it is based on her own teenage experiences. This fact only sheds light on the question of the age difference between Baby and Johnny. Although the film does not explicitly state the age of the two leads, there is enough evidence to suggest that the years between them border on the creepy.
Johnny and Baby’s age in Dirty Dancing (which Patrick Swayze’s best line hates) is talked about just by looking at Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray. The two don’t even look like they’re in the same age group, and the movie doesn’t take steps to explain some of that. While it may be a product of when it was made, Dirty Dancing may not hold up under today’s magnifying glass in terms of its most problematic parts. So how old is Jennifer Grey? Here’s how long Baby and Johnny have been on Dirty Dancing, and if their ages are too wide.
Baby and Johnny have been together for a few years
How old is Jennifer Grey? Well, the clues in Dirty Dancing put Johnny’s age at 25 and Baby at 17. At the beginning of HBO’s Dirty Dancing, Baby’s narration refers to the “summer of 1963”. An early conversation reveals that she plans to attend Mount Holyoke (a private all-girls college in Massachusetts) to study the economics of underdeveloped countries. In the politically charged Dirty Dancing, Baby also says that she thought about joining the Peace Corps shortly before she first discovered Johnny. Some reports suggest that Baby is believed to be 18 or even 19 years old. However, based on iMDB trivia notes and a 2017 interview with Gray (via Closer Weekly), Baby was likely born in 1946 and is believed to be 17 years old. The character never actually revealed his age in Dirty Dancing, nor did Johnny ask the camera. If Baby is really a minor, that would explain his father’s confrontational attitude towards Mr. Castle for most of the movie.
In Dirty Dancing, Johnny’s birth date of 1938 makes him 25 years old. The character first wonders why Baby was given access to a private dance area, but then invites her to dance and then teaches her some moves. Johnny and Baby/Frances slowly become friends while tending to Penny’s medical procedures (Jake Houseman provides proper assistance), and eventually become lovers. HBO’s Dirty Dancing never addresses the eight-year age difference between the two characters, making the film somewhat controversial – then and now – because Baby is actually a minor. In 1963 America, however, it was not unusual for men and women to get engaged at a young age. Dirty Dancing’s focal relationship may not be appropriate, but the age gap isn’t enough for Baby’s father to worry about during the climactic performance. In fact, Jake Houseman basically apologizes to Johnny.
How old are Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray in Dirty Dancing?
The late Swayze was almost seven years older than Gray in real life. When Dirty Dancing premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1987, Roadhouse star Patrick Swayze was 34 and best known for playing Darrel “Darry” Curtis in The Outsiders and Jed Eckert in Red Dawn. As for Grey, she just turned 27 and previously played Jeanie Bueller on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. She also appeared with Swayze in Red Dawn as Toni Mason. In 2010, Gray won Dancing with the Stars season 11, just over a year after his Dirty Dancing co-star Swayze died at age 57 of pancreatic cancer.
The age gap between Johnny and Baby in Dirty Dancing is really questionable
Johnny and Baby’s ages in Dirty Dancing are definitely problematic. And worse, if he is 17 and she is 25, New York State law cannot find anything wrong with their relationship. That’s a problem, because the age gap is uncomfortable to think about, technically legal, and would certainly raise worrisome discussions if a movie featured it today. Despite this, age gaps like Patrick Swayze’s Dirty Dancing are unfortunately all too common. Movies like Licorice Pizza can get away with the huge age difference between the lovers, and people seem to forgive its inclusion. After all, Dirty Dancing is still a beloved and critically acclaimed film. The movie was so popular that it got a (pretty terrible) TV remake in 2017. Dirty Dancing remains popular, but when brought up to today’s standards, the age gap between Johnny and Baby is unavoidable if anything. accompanying script. this now. .
Dirty Dancing’s age gap problem isn’t the only one
While the age gap in Dirty Dancing is certainly scary, it’s not the only film to feature a problematic age gap between the two leads. Whether it’s the age of the actors themselves or the characters they play, Hollywood has produced many iconic films featuring the uncomfortable age difference between romantic partners. Take, for example, any Woody Allen film. Colin Firth and Emma Stone’s romance in Allen’s 2014 romantic comedy Magic in the Moonlight is a more modern example. The age gap between the two actors was 28 years, with Firth being 53 at the time and Stone 25. Although legal, the knowledge that Firth was 28 when Stone was born upset many viewers.
A more blatant example of a narrative that allows uncomfortable, and also illegal, age gaps is the classic American Beauty of the 90s. American Beauty shows a 42-year-old Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey, then 39) who falls in love with friend’s 16-year-old daughter Angela (Mena Suvari, then 19). Martin Scorsese’s 1980 drama Raging Bull shows an adult Robert de Niro falling in love with a 15-year-old character played by a 17-year-old actress. Finally, Entrapment, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery, showed sparks between the two characters, but did nothing to explain the nearly 40-year age gap between Sean Connery and Zeta-Jones. The age difference in Dirty Dancing can be problematic, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Ultimately, the film is not alone in its portrayal, and it is far from the worst offender.