Regardless of whether or not you were alive in the Eighties (we take nothing for granted since Lovestretchers aren’t defined by their age), we think you deserve a Footloose moment. Below, Beatrice Hodgkin at Easy Living nails the latest version. Follow the link to the Easy Living site:
How could anything top the 1984 film Footloose, I ask you? Quirky heartthrob Kevin Bacon in the prime of youth (ahem). A raft of renegade free-styling dance moves. The impossibly cool poutiness of Lori Singer. Sarah Jessica Parker in her rather gawky, pre-spotlight days. John Lithgow doing an awesome tyrannical reverend. The soundtrack. The totally insane plot, involving a town that’s outlawed pop music and dance. Why oh WHY would they bother to remake it? Such was the negative cloud of energy I dragged into a screening of the re-make of Footloose. My verdict? I L.O.V.E.D it. Guilty pleasure par excellence.
The story in this re-made version remains much the same, nay near-identical – a rebel teenage boy moves to a town where music and dancing are outlawed, and he subsequently wreaks havoc, but eventually wins the town over. But many of the plot points are fleshed out a little so as to give fans of the original something new to play with. We get a more comprehensive idea of why music has ben banned in the first place, for example. We understand why Ren is in town and get to know his family. It’s a cute tactic.
Similarly much of the iconic original soundtrack crops up, but is used in inventively new ways – an illicit trip to a barn dance and a genius scene in which Ren’s two tiny cousins sing a karaoke version of “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” are two favourites. Some scenes are nothing short of energetic homages. No disguise, no pretence – and it’s glorious. Kenny Wormald (terrible name, cute face) sure has no qualms about throwing himself about the place, that’s all I’ll say. He, like his co-star Julianne Hough, is the perfect mix of Disney pretty and kooky oddity. BTW she’s so like a miniature Jennifer Aniston it’s spooky.
In short there’s just the right mix of homage, nods, originality and development to keep everyone happy. More than happy – thrilled. It’s weird, you expect to hate something so much you can’t quite see how you’ll be won over, and then, mysteriously, you are. And what’s more you leave the cinema wanting to dance about, and, dare I say it, see it again. It’s super-cheesy, but why would you want anything else?