March 19 12

My sister and I were raised by movies.

The movies that made dancing dirty, made the artsy, offbeat boys sexy, made the foreign exchange students hilarious. The movies that made skipping school easy, made detention an awesome way to spend a Saturday, made it possible to make a person with a computer and a Barbie doll.

We wanted Baby to do the lift. We wanted to like Andie’s homemade prom dress. We wanted Samantha’s parents to remember her birthday. We wanted to know the sausage king of Chicago. We wanted Marty to get to 88 miles per hour. We wanted to hear the punchline of John Bender’s joke. We wanted to hear about last night…We wanted to wax on, wax off. We wanted to blow birthday candles out on our dining room table. We wanted to have a drink at St. Elmo’s Bar. We wanted to put lipstick on with our cleavage. We wanted to carry a watermelon. We wanted to learn the African Anteater Ritual. We wanted to never let anyone put Baby in a corner. We wanted our two dollars. We wanted to make like a tree…and get out of here. We wanted to give out panties to help a geek. We wanted Mr. Vernon to know that Barry Manilow raided his wardrobe. We wanted to know if someone has six fingers on his right hand. We wanted to not buy, sell or process anything.


And we wanted to go to the dance with a guy in a bow tie and red jacket.

And we wanted to wear overalls and learn to dance.

And we wanted to kick off our Sunday shoes.

And we wanted to figure out how on earth Ariel made it safely into her boyfriend’s truck. (Because, really, it’s just not possible. NOT POSSIBLE.)

And we wanted to know if there was ever a better soundtrack than the Footloose one.

Footloose, Let’s Hear It For the Boy, Almost Paradise, Somebody’s Eyes, Holding Out For a Hero. Never was the only song we fast-forwarded through. Every other song got repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated until the tape broke.

And then we bought another copy.

Sure, the original Footloose is a little campy, a little cheesy, a little dated, a little old school, a little, um, absurd…plot-wise. Sure, we still can’t understand WHY Lori Singer was cast as Ariel. She was too pointy, and she looked like she was 35 years old. Sure, we still can’t figure out how an ENTIRE TOWN makes the leap that public dancing leads to people dying. Sure, we’d love to just completely scrap that angrydance warehouse scene where Ren takes his shirt off and dances his stresses away with the help of some super strange gymnastics moves and the help of at least four or five stunt dancers.

But that was the beauty of it.

And that, really, was the beauty of all movies from that era.

They weren’t Golden Globe winners or Oscar winners. They are campy, cheesy, dated and just plain old ridiculous fun. THIS IS WHAT MAKES THEM ICONIC.

Which is why I didn’t understand the need for a remake.

I told myself I wasn’t going to see it, because WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

But, then, you know, I have an 11-year-old.

So we watched it together.

And, well, here’s the thing.

I did not hate it. In fact, I kind of *liked* it. 

Julianne Hough is lovely to look at, albeit slightly more whore-ish than Ariel Moore is supposed to be. Lori Singer’s red boots scream “I’m not a preacher’s daughter!” while Julianne’s red boots scream a little bit more “Who wants to meet me under the bleachers?!”

Kenny Wormold is adorable BUT HE IS NOT BABY KEVIN BACON.

Quaid does a fine preacher job BUT HE IS NOT JOHN LITHGOW.

Miles Teller plays an aw-shucksy good cowboy BUT HE IS NOT CHRIS PENN.

The soundtrack was fun and makes you want to dance BUT IT IS NOT THE ORIGINAL FOOTLOOSE SOUNDTRACK.

Also, there’s no old-school frizzy-haired Sarah Jessica Parker and OH MY GOD Dianne Wiest.

Do you see where I’m going here?

I liked the movie just fine. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I didn’t hate it.

My daughter liked the movie just fine too. We even made this video after seeing the movie.

But I don’t understand why we needed this remake.

As someone who grew up watching, living, breathing Footloose, I can’t help but compare the films while watching. And I don’t want to be sitting and making comments frame-by-frame about what was different, better, sillier, weirder, campier in the original version. And trust me, no one around me wants me to be doing that either. Why can’t we just make a NEW fun and ridiculous movie about dancing? Why do we have to recycle something iconic?

Why do we have to trample on sacred ground?

While the new movie might make me smile and might make me want to get up and dance…

It certainly doesn’t make me want to kick off my Sunday shoes.

Nothing but the original could make me want to do that.

  1. You know, they’re re-making dirty dancing. Its the ultimate sacrilege. Of course, we’ll know the end is near when they remake the The Facts of Life.


    alimartell replied on




    Comment by mara on March 19, 2012
  2. Who would lie about that? Nobody should put baby in a corner and nobody NOBODY will ever be able to live up to Patrick Swayze.


    ali replied on

    That is a travesty.


    Comment by mara on March 19, 2012
  3. I wondered too – because I LOVED the original Footloose when I saw it sometime in the 90s.

    I do not, however, love how Hollywood is crapping all over my childhood with Transformers and now Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    I wish they would stop.


    Comment by Mari on March 19, 2012
  4. Even though Ariel’s boyfriend was an asshole, I thought he was pretty cute. I wasn’t sure why she strayed in the first place.

    Ren was way cooler than her and deserved way better.


    ali replied on

    Are we talking OLD Footloose…or NEW Footloose?


    gorillabuns replied on

    OLD! I can’t betray Keving Bacon and watch the new one.


    ali replied on

    You are my kind of people.

    Comment by gorillabuns on March 19, 2012
  5. Maybe they were trying to make an equally as iconic Footloose that kids for this era will love and talk about forever. I guess maybe some people don’t show their kids classics? I dunno…. I havent seen it yet, maybe I will realize that is entirely UN-true once I see it.
    I liked Cocktail soundtrack better!


    ali replied on

    REally? Cocktail better?

    We will have to agree to disagree on that one! ;)

    The new Footloose won’t be iconic…it just sort of will get lumped in all the other dance-type movies.


    Comment by Amy on March 19, 2012
  6. Your level of geekyness makes me grin from ear to ear.


    ali replied on

    I fly my geek flag with PRIDE!


    Comment by Sharon on March 19, 2012
  7. Because no one in Hollywood has an original idea in their heads. It’s ridiculous!


    Comment by Kristabella on March 19, 2012
  8. Victorious redid Breakfast Club. It was so horrible, and my kids didn’t get it at all. And that part of me that could do the lipstick trick died.


    Comment by Emma Waverman on March 19, 2012
  9. ok- watching that video made me ridiculously happy. Thanks for that :)

    And yes. WHY do we need the remakes indeed? Why?


    Comment by Tarasview on March 19, 2012
  10. I love that video so much. That’s some fancy footwork, Ali Martell.


    ali replied on

    I can do a mean mashed potato, running man, roger rabbit, and electric slide.

    Which is why you will never see me dancing in public.


    Comment by Tamara on March 19, 2012
  11. 1. I love Footloose with the fire of a thousand angry gymnastics/glitter-infused warehouse dance scenes.
    2. Did the remake really feature burning/exploding buses like the trailer did? Because I can’t stop not understanding that.
    3. TRAMPLING ON SACRED CINEMATIC GROUND. That’s exactly what so many of these remakes are doing and I call shenanigans.
    4. I am a big fan of you and your Sunday shoes.


    ali replied on

    They replaced the tractor chicken scene with buses…that caught on fire. I’m still confused by it.

    YES #3. YES.


    Comment by Kerri Anne on March 19, 2012
  12. What a fun video you made :) Awesome!


    Comment by Multi-Testing Mommy on March 19, 2012
  13. Basically because Hollywood is lazy, and it’s easier to remake a movie than to come up with an original idea. It’s a cryin’ shame.


    Comment by Monstergirlee on March 19, 2012
  14. So dam funny! Haha! I love the video.
    Every time someone talks about Footloose I have to tell the story about “the time I sat beside Kevin Bacon on the subway in New York!!” and I kept nudging my clueless husband with the “OMG” face.. *sigh* Kevin Bacon… yeah… the original Footloose.
    P.S. I heard the Dirty Dancing Rumour too.. :(


    Comment by Suzanne on March 19, 2012
  15. Remakes are killing me…they are destroying my childhood memories. :(
    Your video though…that is bloody awesome! :)


    Comment by Amanda on March 19, 2012
  16. Okay, first of all, it’s like you were speaking directly to me with all of your references to iconic movies. It seems we had the exact same childhood/teenhood.

    Second, I too have NEVER understood the casting of Lori Singer. And I have tried, I have asked every man I’ve ever worked with/slept with/stood in line at Starbucks with. And enlightenment will never be forthcoming.

    But I have a question for you, Ali…when I saw the trailer for this movie, it seemed to me the dialogue was repeated, verbatim, from the original (yes, the lines of Footloose are a permanent part of my longterm memory). My impulse was to NEVER see it, but now you’ve got me wondering…I don’t have a daughter (only sons) so nobody is going to drag me to this anytime soon…but I do have sisters–would you go see this with your sister? My sisters and I all danced when we were young, and love nothing better than a good dance movie. Is it worth seeing at all, or a total don’t bother?


    Comment by Kim Foster on March 20, 2012
  17. love love love the video!!! looks like fun…I loved the original but I am very curious to see the new one too


    Comment by Maria on March 20, 2012
  18. With the exception of the angry dancing scene (I liked Kevin Bacon’s version much better), I was able to enjoy both movies equally as different era’s versions of Footloose.


    Comment by Avitable on March 22, 2012

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