Friday, October 21, 2011

The new Footloose!

Since it's Friday, I wanted to share about the very fun new Footloose movie that's out in theatres now. Another remake? Yeah, I know! But this is a good one if you like dance movies, a little bit of '80s nostalgia and fun teen movies.

The cast are mostly unknowns, but they're dancers. The actor who plays Ren, Kenny Wormald, was a back-up dancer for Justin Timberlake. Also, he's much cuter than Kevin Bacon. Ariel is played by Julianne Hough a Dancing with the Stars dancer - an actual dancer, not one of the C-list "celebrities." They both pulled their weight acting-wise -- this isn't Shawshank Redemption or anything -- but I liked that they had a dancing background because they seemed very comfortable in the role.

So, my husband can't get over the idea that in the small rural town in Footloose, dancing is illegal. Well, the new movie does a great job of setting this up. The town loses four high school seniors, including Ariel's brother, in a car accident after the teenagers leave an unsupervised party. Ariel's father is a pastor in town, and he spearheads a campaign to set curfews and laws limiting partying for teenagers, including dancing. This makes sense to me because it's reactionary from a tragedy. But Ren, a newbie from Boston, doesn't get these backwards rules. Which also makes sense! Silly husbands, Footloose explains everything.

What's great about the updated version is more diversity in cast and in the dancing. Just because the kids live in a rural area doesn't mean they all country-line dance and wear cowboy hats. There's a great scene at a local burger place where kids do a dance-off in the parking lot. It's mostly dirty club dancing and hip-hop styles. And it's awesome. The mix is like Step Up meets Friday Night Lights.

If you're a fan of the original, there are a lot of scenes filmed with the same shots, which is kind of cool without feeling like a total copycat (here's a link to an Entertainment Weekly photo gallery of side-by-side shots). Ren still drives an old yellow VW beetle, Ariel gets reamed out by her father on the stairwell of their farmhouse, and of course, the warehouse angry punch-dance scene*. Yup, it's there and Ren performs gymnastics on a random high bar in the warehouse just like Kevin Bacon did. But ya'll, this Ren dances to The White Stripes!

*I've gotta link to one of my favorite spoofs ever, the re-enacted punch-dance scene from Hot Rod:

For a truly fun movie, I definitely recommend seeing this, especially if you're a fan of dance movies in general. Then let me know what you think!

One of my favorite blogs Forever Young Adult has a great write-up about the film, including some footage from an event in Texas where the new Ren is interviewed and parties down with some dancers.


  1. I keep telling myself I won't watch it, but I know I will - especially as I'm the only person in my house who has seen the original :-)

  2. LOVED this movie! Saw it two days ago with my girlfriends. I watched the original a while ago when I bought the DVD for my mom for christmas (she is a Kevin Bacon fanatic), but didn't remember enough of it to know what was going to happen in the remake. Great soundtrack.

  3. I must admit this preview looks really good! I was in middle school when the original came out, I think. I like the fact the actors are dancers.


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