Classic tale of teenage rebellion and repression features a delightful combination of dance choreography and realistic and touching performances. When teenager Ren McCormack and his family move from big-city Chicago to a small Midwestern town, he's in for a real case of culture shock. Though he tries hard to fit in, the streetwise Ren can't quite believe he's living in a place where rock music and dancing are illegal. However, there is one small pleasure: Ariel Moore, a troubled but lovely blonde with a jealous boyfriend. And a Bible-thumping minister, who is responsible for keeping the town dance-free. Ren and his classmates want to do away with this ordinance, especially since the senior prom is around the corner, but only Ren has the courage to initiate a battle to abolish the outmoded ban and revitalize the spirit of the repressed townspeople. Fast-paced drama is filled with such now-famous hit songs as the title track and "Let's Hear It for the Boy". Written by
Prior to seeing this movie, all I had heard suggested that I was better off not watching it unless it was to ridicule. I looked at my uncle dancing round his living room to some of its music and asked myself if anybody expected me to take that seriously. It's got a place in movie history even for the title song alone, though, so I decided I couldn't live with myself unless I gave it a chance. It was definitely worth it.
The style is reminiscent of a whole host of other '80's teen flicks, but only a handful are better. Most of the cast do great things with their roles. Kevin Bacon actually manages to make the clichéd concept seem kinda cool, here showcasing an easy charm that was to become the hallmark of much of his later work. Crucially, the music is actually pretty good too! (Even if I am torn between wanting to cringe and dance when I hear the theme!)
On reflection it's no cheesier than something like "All the Right Moves" (which has a great cast doing their best but suffers from a plodding story) In fact, it's miles better! At least the music in "Footloose" gave the makers a viable way to pep things up whenever the story begins to flag. This film is much, MUCH better than I had been led to believe, so give it a chance if you ain't seen it yet but thought you knew the score. Chances are, you don't...
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