Friday, October 21, 2011
When I first heard that one of my dear classics, Footloose, was being remade, I was angry. How could they re-make it? I’m always skeptical about sequels and prequels, and remakes are usually worse in my book. I didn’t have high expectations at all, but I’ll admit that when I saw the previews start to come out a few weeks ago, I was pretty excited. I think one of the things that was pretty evident (even from the previews) is that they didn’t re-write the story, they just retold it.
So last night, I ventured out with some friends for dinner and Footloose. From the moment it started and I saw those feet dancing across the screen, I was sold. They took my classic Footloose and gave it a 2011 makeover. There were a few things that were blaringly different about the storyline, but nothing major. Ren’s mom died of cancer and that’s how he ended up in Bomont. They actually show the car crash that sends the town into a tizzy. They race busses instead of play chicken with tractors. They didn’t alter anything that was actually part of the storyline, they just made it a little more modern.
With little nods throughout the film, the story holds true to the original we all know and love. Whether it was Ariel’s red boots, some of the same silly dance moves, covers of songs from the original, or quotes delivered line for line, there were subtle reminders throughout that made my heart happy. I felt like the director purposely put them in there to show us all that he too was a huge fan of the original Footloose.
Kenny Wormold and Julianne Hough did a great job, but I think what had me sold on their performance was really just their ability to dance. And what’s a dancing movie without dancers? Miles Teller totally did Willard (originally played by Sean Penn) justice! But with the rest of the cast, the acting wasn’t that great. With Reverend Moore and Vi in particular, their lines just didn’t come across as sincere as they did in the original. Of course, they’re being compared to John Lithgow and Diane Wiest, but still, it’s Dennis Quaid and Andie MacDowell we’re talking about, not some no-name actors.
While the original will always hold a piece of my heart, this remake is definitely worth a watch (or two)! Maybe Footloose 2011 will mean to this generation what it meant to so many of us growing up in the 80s. Sometimes you just have to dance! The classic will always hold a place in my heart, but this 2011 version will definitely have you wanting to dance in the aisles. And that’s a guarantee.