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Let's Rush To Judgment!: 'Footloose' 2011

Aug 15, 2011

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Linda Holmes

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So we have arrived. Here it is. (Well, it's actually been up for a while; I just haven't bothered looking at it.) It's the trailer for the upcoming Footloose remake.

I saw Footloose at the AFI Silver either last summer or the summer before that, and I was surprised by how contagious its energy still was. How lean and interesting-looking was young Kevin Bacon. How surprisingly effective were John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest. How spunky was Sarah Jessica Parker. How really, really '80s was all that music.

So here we are with Kenny "Who?" Wormald playing Ren, Julianne "Apolo Ohno's Dance Partner" Hough playing Ariel, Miles "No, Really, WHO?" Teller playing Willard, Dennis "The Big Easy 4-EVA" Quaid playing the Reverend, and, believe it or not, Andie "Is It Raining? I Hadn't Noticed" MacDowell playing the Reverend's wife. (Dianne Wiest In My Imagination: "That's it. I'm coming back. Out of the way, you.")

The most striking thing about this is how closely director Craig Brewer is hewing to the look and feel of the 1984 original. Willard is skinnier, but recognizably the same guy. Ariel still shows off the same defiant T-shirt during the town council meeting. Ren's dance through the ... mill? ... looks largely the same, and they seem to have done up the twinkly lights at the dance.

Yes, there's some Step Up 2 The Streets business going on when the kids are dancing in the parking lot, but that's to be expected. They're not going to be grooving to "Dancing In The Sheets" in 2011. (They honestly shouldn't have been in 1984, either. I knew even then that it was gross.) And it does sort of look like maybe they race school buses instead of playing chicken on tractors? But I can forgive that.

Honestly, at first glance, it doesn't look like as much of a gruesome offense against my memories as it could have been. [Look for that in a blurb coming to your newspaper. "Not as much of a gruesome offense as it could have been!" — NPR]

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