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August 23, 2014

Footloose, the (Somewhat Unnecessary) Sequel

by Brendan

So, at times I’m not immune to random channel-surfing, and even worse, watching the stuff  I surf up.  Which is why, this afternoon, I turned up the 2011 version of Footloose, which up ’til today I didn’t know existed.

Tuned in, with severe reservations, in that the Kevin Bacon\Lori Singer\John Lithgow Footloose is damn near perfect and has no apparent need of a sequel.  But I came around as I watched.

Number One: Today’s movie audience of teens and those in their twenties (Millenials) needs a version of Footloose that doesn’t star dinosaurs like Kevin Bacon (though I’d be gratified no end if today’s teens liked and admired the movie, or even more so were Kevin Bacon fans — maybe they’d seen The Following, in which he’s great.

The new Footloose stars Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough.  Yes, we’ll pause while you say, wtf?  Well, Kenny and Julianne are up to the task — turns out he’s a professional dancer (which Bacon wasn’t), toured with Justin Timberlake, etc.  Hough has pretty good professional credits, too, and she’s hot enough and more to play the slutty minister’s-daughter Ariel.

 

Footlose, 2011

Footlose, 2011

Another thing I liked is that the filmmakers decided not to do a shot-for-shot transcription of the original, though they stay close to it.  Ren’s solo dance sequence in the warehouse is and is not like Bacon’s; there’s a country line-dancing scene in which both Ren and Ariel come off well.  And best of all, there’s a scene in which 8-year-old girls sing “Let’s Hear It For the Boy,” in which Ren teaches his friend Willard to dance, much like and also unlike the original scene with Bacon and Christopher Penn.

Turns out that if I give something a chance and evaluate it fairly, maybe I’ll have an enjoyable experience.  Who knew?  (Well, I knew ever since I read Carl Wilson’s amazing book Let’s Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste.  Some people call it the Celine Dionne book, and the whole world loves it.  I blogged about it here on May 5, 2014.)

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