Today I went to the movies with my mom to see the remake of the 80’s classic Footloose. Now I love the original – one of my favorite movies and one if not the first soundtrack I owned, it was either Footloose or Cocktail. I know every word to every song on that soundtrack and can’t tell you how many “shows” my friends and I put on to “Footloose” and dancing around the house lip syncing into a hairbrush to “Let’s Hear it for the Boys”, “Holding Out For a Hero”, and “The Girl Gets Around”.
Now I was only 6 when the movie came out but by the time I was old enough to see it, it was already a classic must see teen movie – just like Dirty Dancing and Grease are.
When I first heard about the remake I was so bummed because every remake I can thinking of has sucked. Remakes are never good. And then I heard who the cast was going to be – again bummed. Redoing the songs by different singers – bummed again. Then the promos started airing, trailers running, interviews showing and I was feeling myself sucked into a “Footloose fever”. So I got thinking – you know the interviews say they are tried to do right by the original and if I hate then I still have the original and can continue to say remakes suck.
So today my mom and I went to see it. Opening scene – huge smile across my face as the opening production credits start to roll I hear the beat start – the Kenny Loggins lyrics play – it was MY Footloose. And it didn’t stop there. While the basic story is the same city boy moves to small town with crazy laws, meets hot/wild preachers daughter, let’s dance…. they did change is a wee bit. It was here I thought the movie was weakest. The revamped story line was uninspired and a bit lame but close enough to the original that I didn’t mind. The other thing that I wasn’t thrilled about was a change in the music. Some of the songs had been redone and I was disappointed but understood the new version of “Footloose”. But even those things I could let slide as throwback after throwback to the original had me smiling each time. It was like watching a movie homage to a movie I already loved. It was here that the movie was great. For those of us that grew up on the 1984 version it was a high-five to our version and for younger generation of us who would see the 1984 version as old fashion it was a great update. This younger generation will love Footloose as much as we love our version and it will all be for the same reasons.
Overall it was pretty darn great. I can already tell that I’ll be watching this version with my teens for years to come. Footloose will live on. Though I would suggest that we have our teens watch the original first that way they realize why their version is so great – if it wasn’t for 1984 they wouldn’t have 2011.