Sunday, May 27, 2012


I'm sorry, for all you fans out there, that I have not seen the original Footloose, so this will not be a comparison review. I wasn't all that interested in seeing the new 2011 version either, but a preview I saw hooked my attention and I rented the DVD.

For those of you out of the loop like me, Footloose is about a high school boy, Ren, from Boston who ends up in a little Southern podunk town with his uncle's family after his mother's death. His seemingly rebellious spirit stirs up a town where it's against the law to crank up your music or dance in public gatherings, the law having been made after the death of five seniors coming home from such a dance. But there was trouble in paradise before Ren arrived. The pastor's own daughter, Ariel, is out of control, and Ren's interest in her makes him the perfect scapegoat when the town starts to unravel.

I liked the storyline of this movie. I liked Ren's angry dancing, a combination of gymnastics and parkour. I did NOT like Ariel's sexy dancing. I get that she's the rebellious bad girl, doing exactly what her father doesn't want her to. So, if she dances like she does at first, I understand. But when she continues to dance like she does (the very type of dancing that instigated people to make the law in the first place, what they call lascivious and promiscuous dancing), when the movie is trying to prove that dancing in and of itself is not harmful but fun, there's a contradiction there. Sexy dancing is not just for fun. It has a purpose: to turn guys on. And though turning guys on doesn't automatically equal harmful, it's not just free-spirited fun either. The point would have been better made had Ariel's dancing changed midway through the movie: had her destructive dancing been a side effect of her attitude, and a more creative fun dancing come out as a result of her change of attitude. While Ariel herself does finally put on a girly dress and tone down her dancing for the last scenes, it's too little too late for the movie to carry any consistent message.

It's not that I don't like the dynamics of having Ariel's character in the movie. It could have been a fascinating performance, but instead, it just came off as a little cheap. Ren and his new buddy Willard, however, are fabulous, and I'd kick off my Sunday shoes with them anytime.

1 comment:

  1. My sister is still trying to get me to watch the original. It sounds like they goofed up the new one. No surprise.


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