Study Guide

Dirty Dancing What's Up With the Ending?

What's Up With the Ending?

The Time of Their Lives

The Kellerman's talent show is like the worst episode of America's Got Talent. Actually, no. A bad episode of that show is entertaining. The Kellerman's talent show is like the cutting room floor. The stuff that even Howard Stern doesn't think is funny.

That's why it's a good thing Johnny Castle storms in, snatches Baby from the corner (see our "Symbols section for more about the corner), and puts on a show-stopping number. Here's what he says before taking the stage.

JOHNNY: Sorry for the disruption, folks, but I always do the last dance of the season. This year somebody told me not to. So I'm gonna do my kind of dancing with a great partner, who's not only a terrific dancer, but somebody who's taught me that there are people willing to stand up for other people no matter what it costs them. Somebody who's taught me about the kind of person I want to be. Miss Frances Houseman.

Cue the Academy Award-winning "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" song. The title of the song is a little misleading, though, because both Baby and Johnny have had the times of their lives. Remember: the song's a duet. Johnny changed Baby's life by teaching her to dance, and he's able to show off that talent during the final number. But his speech isn't about himself. It's about how she changed him. Johnny may have taught Baby to dance, but Baby teaches Johnny to take risks and to live.

Because each person had a life-changing effect on the other, they now trust one another enough to do the lift. And it's even more dramatic than it was when they learned it in the lake. Baby jumps off the stage, runs towards Johnny, and they do the lift in the middle of the audience. Their relationship—forbidden both by Johnny's employer and Baby's father—is no longer a secret to anyone. And they seal it with a kiss.