The world didn't need Dirty Dancing 2 but director Guy Ferland forced it upon us anyway. Havana Nights sees Diego Luna and Romola Garai waste their talent in a sappy tale of love across borders, where only the dance floor provides common ground. Setting it on the eve of the Cuban revolution gave the filmmakers an excuse to capitalise on Latin dance fever, nonetheless the movie fell flat at the US box office and didn't even make it to the big screen on this side of the pond.
Two Left Feet
Ferland takes a backseat to producer-choreographer JoAnn Jansen who was the creative driving force behind Havana Nights. In the featurette Inside Havana she explains that the film is based on her own life, while Ferland, Luna and Garai talk about the Romeo & Juliet theme that attracted them to the story. There's also brief discussion of production design, costuming, and music (used to create the ambience of 50s Cuba) but other than that, this is mostly just waffle and backslapping.
Baila! Building The Dance is a more engaging look behind the scenes, following Luna and Garai through rigorous dance training under the tutelage of Jansen. Essentially it's Fame without the legwarmers, revealing the insecurities of both stars who had no professional dance experience before making this film. An endearing Luna confesses: "I thought I danced really well but I've been living a huge lie."
The Bad Belly Boogie
All of the ten deleted scenes featured here could've been lifted from a bad teen soap. You'll have trouble keeping down your lunch as Luna and Garai have their first smooch against the roar of breaking waves on the beach, or worse: mommy preparing her daughter for "the big talk". In a word: yeesh.
Jansen's commentary (with co-producer Sarah Green) is similarly cringe worthy. She struggles to hold back the tears as scenes from the film echo moments in her own life and throws out grand statements like, "This kind of dancing is an expression of sexuality and becoming a woman." Whoops - here comes lunch again!
Two of the film's dance sequences are also thrown into the package as a multi-angle feature, but will only prove interesting to those who wish to learn the Latin Tango. That aside, this DVD is definitely not worth taking for a spin.