The original Footloose inspired a generation of kids to kick off their Sunday shoes and dance. Now, the classic 1984 film is getting a 21st century makeover.
The premise of the remake remains the same. A city boy moves to a small town where dancing has been banned and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.
It's hard to talk about this story of rebellious youth without associating it with Mr. Six Degrees himself, Kevin Bacon.
After bullying pledges in Animal House and a mouthful of street talk in Diner, Bacon made dance history with his take in Footloose. The movie, which made $480 million and became an 80's staple, launched Bacon into mainstream stardom.
Footloose was one of those rare pop culture phenomena that was so ephemeral it wound up defining the time. That's not to say it wasn't totally silly. After all, it was a film about a boy that was literally fighting to dance, just dance!
For all the nostalgia geeks out there, here's a look at Footloose then and now.
The original film starred Bacon as Ren McCormack and Lori Singer (who jumpstarted her short career with the film) as Ariel.
The remake sees relative acting newbies (but dancing veterans) Kenny Wormald and DWTS's Julianne Hough. Could this jumpstart their career? Possibly. There is a lot of hype over the movie and the two actors have the dancing cred to carry their careers in a new direction.
The new film replaces John Lithgow with Dennis Quaid in the role of Reverend Shaw Moore and Dianne Wiest with Andie MacDowell in the role of Vi Moore.
The initial Footloose captured the feeling of mainstream pop in the throes of the Reagan revolution. Perhaps, that is why the soundtrack has aged particularly well. It stayed on top of the Billboard album chart for over two months and generated an astonishing number of hit singles (six). Footloose introduced Deniece Williams' Let's Hear it for the Boy, Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out for a Hero and Mike Reno and Ann Wilson's Almost Paradise, to the world.
The new soundtrack is decidedly different. It's chocked full of country anthems. While it does boast major artists like Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green as well as some under the radar gems like Lissie and Ella Mae Bowen, it's unlikely that this CD will define the era. Nor is it likely to get much play, other than on the States' numerous country stations.
The new film follows a similar formula as the original: a righteous teen revolt ensues after a cocky city slicker comes to live in a small town that has outlawed dancing. He whips his peers up in a seductive movement that will forever change the small town.
In the remake, diversity has arrived in Bomont, the film's fictional town. Newly multicultural, it looks slightly more realistic than the all-white, slightly stagey setting of the original film
The dancing in the remake is decidedly more in your face and reminiscent of scenes from Glee and reality dance shows. For that reason, some may find the remake a bit less fresh and far less revolutionary.
Nobody ever said the original Footloose was a masterpiece. A fine movie it was not, but it was certainly a time capsule of sorts for a generation. On movie score site Rotten Tomatoes, the original has a so-so 57%.
The remake, however, currently has a 73% score on Rotten Tomatoes. However, another popular movie score site, Metacritic, gives the remake a much lower 59%.
Time will tell whether the remake strikes a chord with a new generation.
Footloose opens in theaters on Oct. 14. Have a look at the trailer below:
Here’s a look at the original 1984 trailer: