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 Andieâ€™s homemade prom dress. We wanted Samanthaâ€™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 Benderâ€™s joke. We wanted to hear about last nightâ€¦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. Elmoâ€™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 treeâ€¦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 DRIVE A YELLOW VOLKSWAGEN BUG.
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.Â 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.Â 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.Â Sure, we still can’t figure out how an ENTIRE TOWN makes the leap that public dancing leads to people dying.Â 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.Â They are campy, cheesy, dated and just plain old ridiculous fun.Â 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.Â
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.Â 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.Â 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.