182: Footloose

Footloose (PG) - 1984 - Runtime: 107 minutes
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, Dianne Wiest, John Lithgow, Sarah Jessica Parker
Director: Herbert Ross

Another iconic movie that's more known for its parodies and epic dance foolishness, Footloose is most certainly a relic of its time. Although what do I know? They are remaking this movie that seems to have a curse finding the next Kevin Bacon (Zac Efron and Chace Crawford both have backed out, but it's still moving forward!). And although the movie is quite enjoyable, I think I had more fun watching this with Maggie and gently poking fun at the absurdity of it all. We'll see what comes of the new movie, but I just can't possibly imagine audiences believing a whole town has banned dancing. But if The Karate Kid can still kick butt, why can't another beloved 80s movie?

For those that haven't heard the ridiculous, Ren McCormack has moved from big time Chicago to a small, western town. There he finds out that the town has banned dancing. You see, the town suffered a tragic accident where some local teens partied too hard and wound up being dead. It's the devil's music, of course, that's the real culprit - so music and dancing are both banned so that the kids can be safe. At this point, we're already treading on thin ice. But what makes this movie so over the top is Bacon's dancing acrobatics. There's not just one or two, but several long dance numbers where Bacon and crew get to show off all of their whiteness by gyrating around like they're in the Nutcracker on speed. It's all very embarrassing to watch, so I can only imagine what the participants must have felt like. The movie plays one note throughout and it's all about expression and censorship - can the feeble-minded adults come to terms with their own impotence regarding dancing (because that's really the case - they're just jealous!) and can Ren and his band of renegade Hep Cats break free from their shackles of suppression and bust a nut at the prom? Well, I won't spoil anything, but shit does go down, along with people's groove things.

Obviously I think this movie isn't to be taken so seriously - it's more about having fun and showing off Kevin Bacon's dance moves. In fact, it's so over the top there's a game of chicken played with tractors. The suspense is so killer in that scene, too - I can't imagine seeing your life flash before your eyes in those thirty minutes you have before deciding whether to veer off course and be a chicken or finish the job. Like I said earlier, I just don't know how they're going to sell a new Footloose to modern audiences. Maybe it will involve Twitter or Facebook. "A town that's banned social networking - kids have to resort to talking to each other in the hallways. It's up to Ren McCormack and his new friends to find a way to add more trees to their Farm in Farmville." I think I'm on to something here...

Rating: Rent It! (It's so bad it's good!)

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