When the movie "Footloose" came out in 1984, I was 14 and it might as well have been "Citizen Kane"; I thought it was "that good". 25 years later, on a lonely Saturday night I watched it again with my children and I realized, "Jesus, this movie is a pile of crap."
I first saw "Footloose" as a freshman in high school and I'm not kidding - when it was over, my girlfriend and I literally danced (footloose style) the entire mile home from the mall. Needless to say, when I saw it was playing on Encore, I forced my children to watch this "classic"film and made sure to tell them that I danced a mile through my neighborhood at 11 pm at night after seeing this life-changing movie. Seeing it the second-time-around was not quite as inspiring. Here's why:
- In real life, had Kevin Bacon (aka "Ren") shown up to a Jesus-loving, hick farm town with his crazy dance moves, he would have gotten his high-waist jeans, skinny-tie wearing, spiked early-onset-male-pattern-baldness' ass kicked.
- Any teenager who relieves stress ( i.e. the nightmarish stress of living in a "dance free" town) by dancing atop his yellow VW bug in a grain mill might want to see a therapist.
- Later in the movie Ariel's (played by the way-too-skinny Lori Singer) ex-boyfriend confronts her about her secret love for Ren and proceeds to beat the living daylights out of her under the High School bleachers. This scene begs the question, 'Shouldn't the town be more concerned with the shit-kickin, plaid-wearing, middle American teenage 'Ike Turner' then a guy dancing in a field to a really crappy Kenny Loggin's song?' (Note: although Lori Singer's character had a black eye and a cut lip, no one in the town even batted an eye. Meanwhile Kevin Bacon got a brick through the window with the words "Burn in Hell" for doing cartwheels in a field.)
- Lastly, during the final scene of the movie (where Kevin Bacon victoriously gets to throw his "Prom in a Grain Elevator"), I was utterly amazed at the amount of glitter that fell down upon the dancing sinners. Glitter fell from the ceiling for an astonishing 6 minutes - or, to put it in contrast, the freaking glitter fell during the entire extended version of Kenny Loggin's hit song "Footloose." Did they have "continuous glitter machines" in 1984? After the first few minutes I came to the conclusion that the glitter had to be the result of state-of-the-art computer graphics. Had the glitter been real, those dancing teens would have died choking to death while dancing in a virtual tomb of glitter.
I recently heard that they are doing a remake of Footloose. Really Hollywood? While I'm sure the remake will suck just as much as the original, I can only hope that this time around they take it easy on the glitter.
I leave you with this poignant and thoughtful Biblical quote from the movie - dramatically delivered by Kevin Bacon as he goes up against not only the town council but the town's pastor in an effort to sway their opinions about dancing:
"Ecclesiastes assures us... that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh... and a time to weep. A time to mourn... and there is a time to dance."
That's some deep sh*t.