I did. I said I wouldn't and I did. I went to go see the Footloose remake. Do I understand why they remade it? No. Do I think it needed to be remade? Absolutely not. Was the soundtrack as good as the original? Pfft, no.
Footloose was a perfect movie already: Enough romance without giving you diabetes (you should be saying that die-uh-bee-tus), dancing, standing up to the man, and Kevin Bacon. There would be no box office 'flops' if all movies followed that same formula.
The new movie did some stuff OK and royally fucked up some other stuff; I was literally shouting my irritation in the theatre. The notes I took on my phone say "Jump back, holdin out for a hero, whorish dancing, shirt off, Music in the warehouse scene, "boston" accent, Not kenny loggins??" I'll try to arrange that into a coherent rant (which might be an oxymoron) or I might just get all fan girl on y'all; only time will tell. Let's go!
· Jump back: I have always loved this line. I used to tell my parents that I was going to make 'jump back!' a common way to express disbelief in my generation. I failed, but it is still an awesome line. Kevin Bacon's delivery is perfect; even if you didn't know what the phrase meant before, the way he says it makes it obvious what he means (he means "holy shit! You're making that up!"). In the new one, the kid just says "Jump back, restofthesentencehere." It isn't even an exclamation! What a letdown. Not cool, new Footloose, not cool.
· Holdin out for a hero: This was incredibly disappointing. Bonnie Tyler singing this song is capable of making you look at anyone you’re with and think “Seriously, this guy.” It is awesome. Well, they murdered the awesomeness. See, they changed the story around so that Ren’s mother had just died and that’s why he moved to Bomont (Why did the story have to get so sad? Plus, he only cares for the first ¼ of the movie so I don’t really get it). Anyway, they used a super slow, sad sounding version of Holding Out for a Hero during a scene where Ren is looking at his mom’s picture and being sad. FOR REAL. They did that. I don’t really get why. Just because you slow a song down and have a sad sounding bitch sing it doesn’t mean it’s an appropriate sad song. FAIL.
· Whorish dancing: One of the reasons the original was so great was that you were always firmly on the kids’ side; they just wanted to dance. They were just dancing in the original, not grinding on each other. In the remake of the scene where Ariel and all the kids are dancing outside the diner, Julianne Hough literally grabs a pole and starts dancing. Seriously? The problem here (besides once again implying that everything you do as a woman has to be for the purpose of turning on a man) is that when they’re all grinding on each other you begin to understand why the parents don’t want them dancing; you aren’t supposed to sympathize with the insanely religious townsfolk! This really bogged down the premise for me. The point is to agree that the town is being unreasonable and that there’s no harm in just dancing.
· Shirt off: This one ties into what I was saying up there. I never did like the character of Ariel, but I never viewed her as a slut. When Chuck and Ren are gearing up for their display of manliness (which is racing buses instead of playing chicken with tractors. Seriously wtf) she is riding in the bed of a truck and asks where the green flag is, the kid in the truck tells her to improvise. She is wearing a green shirt. SERIOUSLY?! They had to put in a scene with her shirt off why exactly? So much objectification it hurts. And they are selling this as an appropriate way to stand up for yourself to 13 year old girls!
· Music in the warehouse scene: 2nd best scene in the original. Kevin Bacon dancing angrily to powerful music. It’s awesome. In the remake… I don’t even know. The music was all wrong. It was mostly bass and it’s hard to dance to just bass. I was extremely disappointed. The new kid could actually dance (he didn’t need a body double like Bacon) but I couldn’t focus on that fact cause I was yelling about how shitty the music was.
· “boston” accent: This was just funny. Ren was from Chicago in the 1984 version, but in 2011 he’s from Boston. This is fine except the actor they had playing this Bostonian only said like 4 words in a Boston accent. He would fade in and out of it. He could say ‘car’ and a few other easy ones, but mostly he just had non regional dialect. A couple times I thought to myself “why did he say that funny?” because I forgot he was supposed to be from Boston till he said one word in a sentence funny.
· Not Kenny Loggins??: The end scene at the barn dance is iconic. The play Footloose for the 3rd time in the film, they dance, it’s awesome. In the new one, they did play Footloose, but not by Kenny Loggins. WHAT? Why not? They played a remake by Blake Shelton. I don’t mind Blake Shelton on principle, but I needed the resolution of that song to negate the shit I didn’t like in this movie. It wasn’t even done any different stylistically; it was just the same exact music and lyrics with a country twang. WHYYYY
So, that’s the list of shit I thought they did wrong. There were a few things I liked:
· Julianne Hough managed to make Ariel likeable (and remind me that I NEED some red cowboy boots). I hated this character in the 1984 version; she was a bitch and thought she was hot shit. In the remake, there was more reason to her rebellion and I appreciated that character development. I did think they over sexualized her with the taking her top off and dancing like a stripper. This movie hit home for me about how much sex we’re selling to 13 year olds (movie is rated PG-13); I have a 12 year old sister, this shit scares me and makes me worried for her generation.
· Willard! ZOMG I wish Willard was real; I’d be all over that cute, redneck, can’t dance, fight loving hick! In both versions Willard was the high point. The kid who played him in the new one more than lived up to the standard set by Chris Penn.
· The scene where Ren teaches Willard how to dance was still great (BEST scene in the original). They kept ‘Let’s Hear it for the Boy’ as the musical accompaniment to that scene (honestly, what other song would even work?) and it was awesome.
I apologize for how long that was. I don’t play around when it comes to Footloose and I had this stuff in my head. I’ll embed the different music I disagreed with and y’all let me know if you agree or disagree.
[OK I spent an hour trying to get the videos on here lined up and pretty and they wouldn’t cooperate L Check out the songs I mentioned and get back to me though. It’s Holding Out for a Hero by Ella Mae Bowen in the new one. The song he dances to in the warehouse is Never by Moving Pictures (original) and Catch Hell Blues by the White Stripes (remake)]
Or just watch this little bit of amazing: