Reason for the Rating: Some teen drug and alcohol use, sexual content, violence and language.
Plot Summary: When a young man moves to a town where dancing is prohibited, he shakes things up and challenges the city council.
PopFam Recommends: How can you NOT see the remake of this classic movie with your teen?
I have to admit, I wasn't really excited about seeing a remake of Footloose. The original was released the year I graduated from high school, so it was truly a movie about my generation. I owned the soundtrack (I think my sister still makes her young daughters listen to that CD), which contained songs like, Let's Hear it For the Boy, Almost Paradise, Holding Out For a Hero, and of course, Footloose. This wasn't just any movie, it is one that holds memories. Needless to say, I wasn't the most objective observer.
Which made me even more pleasantly surprised with the work Craig Brewer did with directing, and Dean Pitchford with re-writing the screenplay (interestingly, he also wrote the 1984 screenplay) that captured not only the feel of the original movie, but the feel of a newer generation. Thankfully, Kenny Loggins' original song, Footloose, was not updated, but several others were. The story was changed around a bit; most notably a scene was added at the beginning which shows five teens leaving a dance and being hit by a semi, and the subsequent town council meeting where the decision was made to ban dancing and loud music.
If you haven't seen Footloose, it's the story of the town of Bomont and the young people who live there. They have been living under a ban on public dancing and listening to loud rock n' roll for the past three years, and then Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves to town. Ren tries to keep to himself, but quickly gets into trouble with the police by playing Quiet Riot a little too loudly from his old VW Bug (neither one being too quiet), as well as being noticed for his uptown clothing and funny Boston accent. Then he meets Ariel (Julianne Hough), the preacher's daughter who doesn't act like a preacher's daughter. She's beautiful and rebellious, a combination suited well for trouble.
While Ren tries to steer clear of Ariel, he makes friends with Willard (Miles Teller), a sarcastic redneck with two left feet. With Willard's help, Ren makes his way through the dangerous territory of a small town taking on the town bully, the preacher, and, ultimately, the city council. Ren's presence not only brings healing to the town, but healing to Rev. Moore (Dennis Quaid) and his family.
So, did I like the changes made to Footloose? It's kind of like reading a great book and then seeing the movie. For me, Footloose will always be Kevin Bacon, Chris Penn, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, and Dianne Wiest. The movie is simply a classic. While I'm not so sure this new release will have the same impact and staying power as the 1984 version, it's probably the best remake I've seen. The story line was the same, even some of the conversations people had were the same, but it was updated for 2011. Ariel still wears her red boots and Ren his thin tie, but Hip-hop, iPods and CD's replaced cassette tapes, and pop music.
Parents should be aware though, that while the old Footloose was rated PG, it was originally rated R. Similarly, the 2011 release is PG-13, and with good reason. Sex is a hot topic, and language is definitely present. While the dancing is fun, this is a movie to watch and enjoy with your teens. Because that's what this movie is about. Being a teenager, loving life, loving family, and celebrating the joy both of those bring.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• If you've seen the 1984 version of Footloose, what has remained the same between the two generations depicted in the movies (1984 and 2011)?
• What are some rules, either at home, work or school, that you must live by but don't understand? What do you think their purpose might be?
• What are some rules God asks you to live by that are hard to follow? Why do you think he asks us to do or not do certain things?
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