Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

Rated 3.0 An American teenager (Romola Garai) moves to pre-Castro Havana with her family, where she makes friends with a waiter at her hotel (Diego Luna) and becomes fascinated by the sultry, irresistible music. Director Guy Ferland’s prequel to the 1987 hit has essentially the same plot: a sheltered teenage girl, hot dance-floor action, a forbidden-fruit romance and overreacting parents. Ferland doesn’t have the musical flair of the original director, the late Emile Ardolino, but this film is actually better than its predecessor (mighty faint praise). The 1950s atmosphere is more authentic than the bogus 1960s of Dirty Dancing, the dancing is easier to believe in Cuba than it was in the Jewish Catskills, and the background of the Castro revolution lends an aura of gravitas that the first film lacks.