When Footloose came out, I was itching to get out to the cineplex to see something since it’d been a loooong time. I had a choice of three movies. At the top of the list was the latest re-make of the Dumas classic The Three Musketeers. But then unimpressive earnings took it from my theater after two weeks. This narrowed the field to Footloose, and the Christian film Courageous. Needless to say, I went with Footloose because the show worked best for my day.
Since I’ve not yet seen the “classic” 1980’s version on which this re-make was inspired by, I won’t make comparison observations.
Footloose (2011) Film Review
Sometimes the unthinkable happens… and sometimes people can be stronger in the aftermath. For a small Georgia town irrespective of their “united” front the people of the community have never fully healed three years after a tragedy took five of their graduating seniors. In the aftermath of these changes the town committee, including the stanch Reverend Moore (Dennis Quaid) pass curfew laws. This prohibits any public dancing unless it’s at a church function or school activity with the appropriate adult chaperones present.
Into these strict codes and limitations walks Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald), a big-city Boston native who knows how heartbreak can change a person. Moving in with his uncle’s family to complete his senior year of high school, Ren is a good student and all-around decent guy. But he does have an attitude.
Ariel (Julianne Hough) is a good church-going girl in the public’s eye but she is really a little rebel with a stubborn streak that she hides well. She has learned the “art” of lying in the most convincing way, especially when it comes to her father, Shaw Moore. She even dates an older race car driver which allows her to take out her aggression. As she and Ren slowly form a friendship, they begin to question everything – including themselves.
I saw this for two reasons. One is a recommendation from my cousin. It was also a point of interest to see how pro-dancer and Dancing with the Stars alumni Julianne Hough would adjust to Hollywood acting. Much to my surprise, she actually holds her own with veteran stars Quaid and Andie MacDowell. She pours layers of emotions into a role that demands turmoil. (She isn’t wooden with her acting, and I was impressed.) In addition to the leading man whose authentic East Coast accent is employed (plus he is also a pro-dancer), the cast also includes Miles Teller (Willard) and Ziah Collon (Rusty).
Naturally, a movie with dancing at its crux stirs controversy. (Is the dancing good enough? Does the performer actually do their own dancing? Or singing?) Each number is crisp in its footwork and precisely choreographed. I’m impressed with the various dance contrasts; and furthermore how well they actually “work” together. One scene takes on a fun country-inspired number while another is a “sexier” number where the style of dance is a more modern tempo or freestyle. (There’s one dance that’s out-of-place in an otherwise dazzling production.)
As entertainment goes, I love this film. It’s peppy and happy-go-lucky yet it isn’t without heart and that is what good entertainment should inspire. It’s wonderful when something can “inspire” (even if it is in the loosest sense of the word) and still be funny. There is about three scenes that make this film worth seeing. Most of which involve dance in some form or another.
Footloose has a surprise or two along the ride to the heart of its story making this not just another teen flick. There is actually lots of poignant moments. Even I get a little misty-eyed (something unusual for me) in the final moments (note the “dancing” scene). I like that the characters relate to one another, especially Ren’s treatment of Ariel. He sees through her charade quickly and told her right off he wouldn’t be a party to her ploy; his words make their impact and in the end his respect of her changes her. Loosely based off of true events, this isn’t a movie that I can readily suggest you see with your little sisters, but in all other respects it’s a toe-tapping good time.
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)You can rent/buy Footloose digitally on Amazon Video or purchase on Bluray.
(PS: Blake Shelton also happens to be the voice who re-recorded the titular song – and it sounds fantastic!)#JulianneHough co-stars in the 2011 re-make of a classic! Who else likes this fun movie? #Footloose - A Feel Good Romance about Dance Click To Tweet
CONTENT: Apart from the often immodest dress [Ariel proudly flaunts her every curve and even strips off her top once], the dancing is also suggestive. Elsewhere there are a handful of crudities and profanity [h*ll, da*n], and a somewhat descriptive story about two women cornering a teen in a bathroom – it turns out to be false. It’s implied and later confirmed that Ariel become intimate. A girl is injured from being slapped. The implication of suicide is present. There is a head-on accident. The film is PG13.