Study Guide

Dirty Dancing Neil Kellerman (Lonny Price)

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Neil Kellerman (Lonny Price)

Middle Management

Neil and Johnny Castle are as different as hot and cold, as up and down, as Lance Armstrong and honesty. One of them has struggled up from the bottom to get where he is today. The other was given a cushy job and real estate by his grandfather. One is talented and romantic. The other's a terrible dancer who thinks he can get girls just by being rich. One is fit and hunky. The other is… Neil.

This little line of Neil's sums up his character best:

NEIL: If they think you're with me, they'll be the happiest parents at Kellerman's. I have to say it. I'm known as the catch of the county. […] Last week I took a girl away from Jamie, the lifeguard, and he said to her, right in front of me, "What does he have that I don't have?" And she said, "Two hotels." 

Neil sees life as a game of Monopoly and views himself as a future Rich Uncle Pennybags. He's so used to being handed everything he wants, he seems to think he and Baby are boyfriend and girlfriend as soon as he meets her. He also calls her "kid" a lot, which is beyond annoying. Baby generally tolerates him while not reciprocating any of his advances, but he's too oblivious or hard-headed to notice.

We wish we could say that underneath his public persona is a nice guy, but no. Neil's totally rude and condescending to Johnny.

NEIL: Whoa, boy. It's way over your head here. I thought, you always do the mambo, huh? Why not dance this year's final dance to the pachanga? […] You're free to do the same tired number as last year if you want, but next year we'll find another dance person who'll be too happy…

Neil thinks Baby will be impressed by this little show of manufactured masculinity, but all it does is push Baby closer to Johnny. Maybe once Baby gets out of the corner, Neil can go stand in it and re-evaluate his life? Nah, the infuriating thing about Neil is that he can be a jerk like this, and chances are everything will work out just fine for him.

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