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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...
"Footloose" is a fun and very lighthearted motion picture that promises a
good time and delivers.
The film has a simple, if unlikely, plotline. Streetsmart but gentle teenager Ren MacCormack(Kevin Bacon) arrives from the big city with his mother in the backwater town of Bomont. Enrolling at the local high school, he is appalled to discover the town's adults have imposed a law on "public dancing" and rock music, as enforced and practiced by the local preacher(John Lithgow). Ren quickly sets about changing things, falling in love with the preacher's daughter Ariel (Lori Singer) in the process.
The story is a little unlikely yet it is perfectly suitable for the teenaged audience at which it is pitched. The script takes some time to explore its simple theme - dancing and rock music, and what they symbolise for young people. Three scenes help to lay this out. The first sees Ren dancing by himself in a barn; the town meeting where Ren presents his case to the townspeople and explains to them the meaning of the dance; and the final prom sequence in which the teens of Bomont revel in their newfound liberation.
As the leading man, Kevin Bacon carries off his role very well. Ren isn't really a macho hero revelling in coolness, he's a down-to-earth young man trying to the right thing by his peers. His romance with Lori Singer's character Ariel is formulaic but perfectly inoffensive.
The film could have perhaps done with a little more nastiness to fully contrast against Ren's earnest intentions. Even Ariel's brutish boyfriend(Jim Young) fails to inject much tension in this respect and the final fistfight between him and Ren comes across as being a bit lame.
John Lithgow's characterisation is very good but it is a little too subtle. As the town Reverend and preacher of all things pure and holy, his extreme views come across not so much as puritanical, just merely uptight. The change that eventually occurs in his attitudes is hinted at very early on. The result is that he is nowhere near is frightening or intimidating a character as he could have been. At the same time his troubled relationships with his rebellious daughter and quiet wife(Dianne Wiest) are very well written and acted. In these scenes he excels and his character's development seems very natural.
On the technical side, the film is well-shot and the gloriously Eighties soundtrack complements the proceedings very well, bringing the necessary exhuberance and bounce to the whole movie.
Whilst "Footloose" is certainly no masterpiece, it succeeds in being a lighthearted knockabout caper, and as such is a very enjoyable movie.
OK, maybe I'm giving in to nostalgia here but I rented "Footloose"
recently and thought it was great. Yes, it's definitely a teen flick,
similar to "Dirty Dancing", and aging a little now.
But the music is great and the plot and themes do as much for me as "Grease" ever did. As teen movies go, it is somewhat original and interesting.
Who should see this film:
-- Teens with nothing better to do on a rainy day
-- People reliving the 1980s, you won't be disappointed to
see this one again
I'll give Footloose a 9 out of 10 because it cheered me up on a day I needed it.
Teenager Ren (Kevin Bacon) moves to a small mid Western town with his
mom after his parents divorce. It seems the Reverend Moore (John
Lithgow), of the town's only church, has totally banned rock and roll
music from the entire town. He has a daughter named Ariel (Lori Singer)
who is basically a hell-raiser--yet loves her father. Rem decides to
stop the ban and bring the town back to life.
OK--we're not dealing with reality here at ALL! A town banning rock music entirely is ridiculous and the town only has ONE church? And the game of chicken using tractors was just silly. And don't get me started on how Bacon, Singer, Chris Penn and Sarah Jessica Parker look WAY too old to be high school students--Singer was THIRTY when she did this! And how the heck did all the kids from the town learn how to dance so quickly? But, as a no brain musical, this does work.
The opening sequence alone is great (it shows various feet dancing to the title tune). Also the acting helps a lot. Bacon is just great--he doesn't take the movie too seriously and gives out a very good performance. He also has a big dance number (to a song called "Never") which is him and THREE different stuntman doing the more unrealistic moves. Singer is too old for her role but she tries. Penn is pretty good as Bacon's best friend--his learning how to dance sequence is a highlight. Parker did this before she was known and she's not bad. Lithgow and Wiest are just great as the Reverend and his wife--Wiest has a great scene where she calmly tells him off and Lithgow (wisely) does not play the Reverend as a one-note character. You see him trying to understand his daughter and slowly realizing that music isn't bad.
So--this is no "Singin in the Rain" but for a 1980s teen musical it's lots of fun. Great songs too. Just turn off your brain and enjoy!
City boy moves to small town and doesn't fit in. A film based on the same old story that follows the same old lines yet somehow manages to make you enjoy. Nothing new happens in this movie but you will watch with a smile on your face (especially during Kev's big drinking/dancing scene.) A great representation of what an 80s flick is all about.
A film of enormous charm. It's about dancing but unlike many films
about dancing it doesn't take itself seriously. It's loose-limbed and
goofy and it lifts you up. It's set in a high school in a small
mid-western town where dancing has been banned; (it reminds me of a
joke I heard here in Ulster; 'Why do Free Presbyterians disapprove of
making love standing up?' 'It might lead to dancing').
Kevin Bacon is the new kid in town who wants the ban lifted. Indeed, this boy seems to live to dance and he's immensely likable. He uses his killer smile to great effect. In this movie the dancing is integral to the plot and it evolves from it naturally and, for once, the director Herbert Ross takes things easy. As well as Bacon, the film has Lori Singer, (the obligatory love interest), and John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest as her parents. He's the bible-thumper who thinks that dancing is sinful and Wiest, with her wan, other-worldly smile, is the wife who doesn't as well as a very young Chris Penn as the over-weight farm boy Bacon teaches to dance in a wonderful sequence choreographed to Denise Williams' 'Let's hear it for the boy'
EVERYBODY CUT FOOTLOOSE As we all know 1984 produced a lot of great
things. One of the best was "Footloose". Here's my thoughts on this
timeless masterpiece which I brought on DVD this week
-Most good movies have a great opening and Footloose is no exception. A bunch of feet dancing showcasing the great footwear of the 80's to the soundtrack song "Footloose". Immediately gets you in -Kevin Bacon's character has one of the all-time great movie names: "Ren McCormack" -Funny how this is probably Kevin Bacon's greatest role, maybe only challenged by "Flatliners". It's amazing how so many actors never repeat their efforts of their first breakthrough movie (See Lou Diamond Phillips, Chris Rock and Madonna for starters) -Also starring in this movie is one of Hollywood's greatest lesser known brothers, Sean Penn's brother Christopher. He's way better than Dan Swayze or Charlie Murphy. -Kenny Loggins will go down as one of the greatest contributors to movie hit songs ever. Footloose's "Footloose" and Top Gun's "Danger Zone". -This is another one of those movies built around a town's overzealous pastor's. Reverand Shaw (John Lithgow) is even more intense than that guy in "Chocolat" -Great action scene at the start with Lori Singer car surfing (watch the slightly impossible way she gets back in the car) -Also look for the great David Hasselhoff 2 second cameo -Great scene where the Rev turns off Lor Singer's ghetto-blaster. Everyone stops talking, eating and dancing. Possibly slightly dramatic -Will (Christopher Penn) tells us several other towns have also banned dancing. How wasn't that fact used as the premise for heaps more sequels with Ren going from town to town and reviving dance? Each time he'd face a new obstacle. -Ren mentions his love for "Men at Work" and "The Police", yet he only listens in his car to bad 80's electric rock. Strange. -Weird town. Here a face off equals a tractor fight. -One of the funniest moments is when Chuck gets onto his tractor and puts "I need a hero" on on his ghetto-blaster. That would be awesome to do at a basketball game when you sub in. -Another great Dianne Weist performance. That girl can just capture the whole audience when she wants. Underrated actress. -"Moment I regret now"- Christopher Penn's dance sequence to "Let's Hear It For The Boy" (although it's a great sequence in the movie) -Kevin Bacon's speech to the council was possibly the greatest speech up until that time in cinema history. That is until Sly Stallone raised the bar with his "If I Can Change...." in Rocky 4. Which was then overtaken by Matthew McConaghuey's "Can you see her..." speech in "A Time To Kill"
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
KEVIN BACON stars as a high school student transfered to a small town
where dancing has been banned by the towns people all led by the towns
local minister, due to an accident that occurred a few years prior that
was blamed on "evil rock music", this does not sit well with Bacon's
character REN, so he decides to fight back to change the law with a few
of his new friends, including the ministers daughter, which brings
about the wrath of the towns people & other enemies down on him.
Despite being a teen picture, FOOTLOOSE was surprisingly sympathetic to
adults, where in other teen pictures, they were portrayed as dumb
morons who didn't know anything & were often made fun of. There's
plenty of drama in this film & it's handled quiet well, the actors were
so good & they really made their characters believable & likable, the
dance sequences where well choreographed & the songs were great & the
script writers even managed to add in some humorous bits sprinkled
through out. FOOTLOOSE is never boring & it keeps you watching right
through to the very end by always having something happening & the
direction is perfect. There's a rumor circulating that this is being
remade, let's hope that's all it is, just a rumor, because it scares me
to think what Hollywood might do to a great film like this! Highly
Ah, yes, I did travel back to the 80's this morning watching the film
Footloose starring then new comer, Kevin Bacon. The funny thing is that
I performed Footloose in my high school, it's now like 5 years later
and I realized when I bought this film yesterday that I had never seen
the movie. I figured since it was so cheap for 5 bucks on DVD, I'd buy
it for fun and I watched it this morning. Footloose is an absolute
blast of a movie that I'm sure that anyone could get into. Yes, it's a
bit of a time capsule, but it's still all in good fun. I liked how this
wasn't necessarily your typical musical, it just had an awesome
soundtrack with the movie. The story is just so much fun and original,
you just fall in love with Ren McCormick from the start.
Ren is a new guy from the big city of Chicago coming into a small town and now this small town has banished dancing since a big accident that happened years ago that killed several teens after a dance, there were drugs and alcohol involved, so naturally these folks think that it's all apart of dancing. But Ren's getting a hard time from everyone because of his fun loving nature, but he makes friends with a wanna be cow boy, Willard. Soon he also becomes the preacher's rebellious daughter, Ariel's love interest. He wants the kids to have fun though and wants a big dance thrown for the town and must convince them to cut their foot loose.
Footloose is just a fun movie that I'm sure you'll have fun with. It's charming, it's funny, it's just a blast to watch, and it's an 80's classic. The acting was actually pretty good, we have a great cast that looked like they enjoyed themselves. Of course we'll always question how the kids just managed the skills of dancing, you'll see what I mean when you watch it, but it's all good. I would highly recommend this film, it's a fun one to watch. Kevin Bacon is totally cool and a must see for Footloose.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I used to LOVE this movie, and I remember I got the soundtrack for Easter
when I was like, 11 or something. It really is a crummy movie, but oddly
engaging... mainly because it is so incredibly surreal and laughable in
it takes itself so seriously.
I remember even as a kid, I thought "Holy cow, for a town that didn't allow dancing and music for years, these kids sure can dance well." What are even funnier are the people who are in it - Lithgow did this film two years after Garp. Did he think that this was going to be a meaty role? But then again, he did willingly star in Third Rock from the Sun. And Dianne Wiest - Woody Allen staple and Oscar winner, who has about 4 lines in the movie. Her job is to pretty much look pensive and pious. I don't think I even need to bring up Mr. Kevin Bacon and his goofy dance through the grain mill.
While this film is not as inherently horrible as say, Xanadu, it's also not nearly as hilarious because it takes itself waaaaaaay too seriously. Of course, it has its moments, especially the part where the dance is beginning and no one is dancing. Why? Let's pretend it's not because Kevin Bacon isn't there in his stupid outfit to scream "Let's Daaaaaaaance!!!!!!!!", (rather, is outside getting his ass beat down by the head redneck until he somehow manages to pull out of it and kick said redneck's ass. How the hell did THAT happen?) But in reality because the song playing is the Loverboy guy and Ann Wilson's "Almost Paradise." I think that as kids if we were sexually oppressed and sheltered and that song came on we wouldn't have danced to that crap song either. Yes, this was the 80's, and mid-80's to boot so the clothes, dancing and dialogue are hilariously dated. These kids must have somehow obtained pirate copies of Radio Free Solid Gold Dancers or something, especially the skinny white kid doing "The Robot".
This movie is up there with 80's `classics' like `Flashdance' where we find that while most of us loved the movie as kids, we see it through adult eyes twenty years later and realize what our parents probably thought: `What a crap movie.' The difference being, our nostalgia sometimes compels us to avoid averting our eyes, like a train wreck.
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