Cut Loose…Footloose

A little known fact about me is that I was once a dance teacher.  I was once a part of the largest clogging studio (now that you are finished chuckling, clogging is a form of dance in spite of what the So You Think You Can Dance judges say) in Utah.  I used to study Michael Jackson and incorporate trademark moves into my choreography.  I also enjoyed the old dance classics like Dirty Dancing and Footloose.  When I heard that Footloose was being remade and that two professional dancers would be playing the lead roles, I worried that they wouldn’t be able to portray the fire that Kevin Bacon brought to the big screen.  So I made a point of seeing the film in its opening weekend.  And I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw.

The Good:

  • The acting was actually decent.  Ren, played by Kenny Wormald, played the perfect gentleman that brings the town back to its feet after tragedy.  Ariel, played by Julianne Hough, redefined the concept of the perfect body in this film.  Her acting was good, but I feel like she was chosen more for her dancing ability and her killer body.
  • Miles Teller, the supporting male actor, gets his own bullet.  He was spot-on in portraying Willard as the nerdy-cool best friend.
  • My favorite scene was definitely the line dancing scene.  It made me want to put my boots on and kick it!
  • The essence of the 80s was definitely sprinkled throughout the film.  Yet, I feel like the director did a decent job of modernizing concepts and bringing the movie into the modern era.
The Bad:
  • I wasn’t a fan of the rage in the film.  I know it was an attempt to modernize the film and make it appealing to today’s young people but I don’t think it was appropriate.  There are two scenes where it is portrayed and both would have been stronger had the topic of rage been left out.
  • The final “barn scene” where everyone dances to “Footloose” was lame.  There is only one way to dance to this song and it doesn’t include helicopters or spinning on one’s head.  Even though it is nearly 20 years later, the best way to remake the classic would have been to copy the old choreography step-for-step.  That final dance was what made the film a classic and it wasn’t in there.
The Ugly:
  • I can not stand the way that Ariel’s character was written.  Every teen experiences some personality swings but Ariel took it to the max.  One day she was full of rage, one day she was a hussie, one day she had learned from her mistakes, one day she was the girl next door.  I was frustrated that she was a bad girl that was sporadically good instead of a good girl that sporadically made mistakes.  I also didn’t appreciate her wardrobe which left little to the imagination.  Girl’s today don’t need one more midriff thrown in their face.  They need a strong character that stands for good and represents what it means to be a strong woman.  The reason the old film became a classic was the fact that Ariel had class.  If I show my children (or nieces and nephews) Footloose in 10 years, I will choose the old classic.
Don’t get me wrong, I smiled through the whole film.  I could help but tap my toes and I swear my leg spasms were an attempt to get me up an dancing.  But just like most things in life, the original can’t be beat.
Tell Us!  Did you see the new Footloose?  What were your thoughts?
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