Hear that? It’s the sound of my teenage soul curling up and dying a slow, agonizing death. Remake Footloose?!?!? I don’t think so.
Footloose. The film that taught me how to use the Bible effectively to make an argument. (Ecclesiastes 3: “To everything there is a season…and there is a time to dance.”) The film that taught me Slaughterhouse Five was a book worth reading despite what the conservative Christian right may think. The film that taught me that boys named Willard who look like Chris Penn often cannot dance well.
The film that taught me that no adult, nowhere is gonna tell me how to live, dammit!
Now I am an adult, and I’m still thinking this remake is not a good idea.
There are certain things in this life that we don’t need remakes of. We do not need a remake of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album, for example. We do not need a remake of Citizen Kane. We do not need a remake of The Declaration of Independence and we do NOT need a remake of Footloose!
In case you’ve forgotten, the storyline was magical, with several classic movie arcs going on at once. Fish out of water tough guy from the big city is homesick and lost in a backwards small town. Big city boy and small town girl fall in love despite their differences. Angry town council with its old-fashioned thinking goes head to head against a restless teen population that has never heard of Men at Work. A domineering pastor forces himself to cope with his son’s death and his teenage daughter’s slutty ways. (FYI: Aforementioned teen slut Ariel Moore was played by Texas’s own Lori Singer!)
And who played the big city boy that led the aforementioned restless teen population to a glorious dance finale complete with confetti, balloons and break dancing? The very man that makes Footloose the amazing film that it was. The very thing that makes it unable to be remade. The man who back in 1984 was still a boy-child, so handsome, so rugged in his nubile dangerousness.
I’m talkin’ about Kevin Bacon.
Do you know who they want to have play Kevin Bacon’s role in this bastardized remake? Zac Efron. The singing boy from High School Musical. Oh, no. No, no, no. Ren McCormick was meant to be a tough kid from the wrong side of the tracks. A boy not 100 percent good-looking. A boy who could win a bar fight and do a back flip on the same evening. He was not meant to be some metrosexual pretty boy who looks like he waxes his eyebrows every Sunday.
So I ask you, dear readers. Am I alone in my thinking? I hope not. Perhaps I am being too harsh, but I simply cannot find a way to support this move by Hollywood. Only one boy can inspire me to hum along with Deniece Williams as she reminds us that maybe he’s no Romeo, but he’s my lovin’ one man show. And that man is Kevin Bacon.
Let’s hear it for the boy, y’all. -- Jennifer Mathieu