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movie review: footloose

Have you ever dragged your heels on something… a movie remake, perhaps… not wanting to give up your old favorite in favor of the new shiny version? And have you ever just taken a peek at the previews of the new version… just for research purposes… to see what the hype was about? And maybe, just maybe, decided to see for yourself if the new version was worth your hard-earned money? You know… just in case you were wrong?

Of course, if this was you, you were fully prepared to hate the new version. It couldn’t possibly live up to the original. After all, the original is a classic. No one can improve on a classic, right?

Um… yeah. Yeah they can. Improve on a classic, that is.

My daughters and I just returned from seeing the new Footloose. And from the very first musical note, I was traitorously in love. Yup… the original (classic) was good, but the remake is much better.

I have no problem being wrong here! And I highly recommend this movie. I may have… at some point… commented to my daughters that I was thankful we went for a matinee and that we sat at the back of the theater because I sort of wanted to get up and dance. (I didn’t though. They were relieved.)

The casting was decent. We all loved Willard. He looked just like he was supposed to. And our favorite scene was the remake of his learning-to-dance lessons. They staged much of it just like the original. Those were our favorite scenes then… and they’re our favorite scenes now.

I also appreciated the musical choices. Much of the original score was used. Some songs, though, were tweaked a little. My older daughter and I looked at each other during one of the tweaked songs to express our displeasure. Oh well. We couldn’t love everything.

One other item for the (very short) dislike column was the inconsistency of the accents. Ren seemed to segue in and out of his Boston drawl. And the Southern wasn’t Southern enough… or consistent enough… for me. But again, we couldn’t love everything. (And I was the only one of our party of three to notice this. The girls didn’t hear it.)

One change that touched me was when Ren approached Ariel’s dad about taking his daughter to prom. In this scene, Ren shared about his mother’s loss, and the reverend shared about his son. I don’t remember this scene in the original. My older daughter said something similar was there, but I can’t place it. Either way, whether the scene was new or adjusted from the old, it was a great improvement.

Other improvements included better explanations of certain plot elements: the reason for the dance ban, the reason for Ren’s move to town, and the procurement of the warehouse for the dance.

Overall, we are very happy that we spent our hard-earned money on movie tickets and soda (no popcorn this go-round). The producers of this movie kept the classic parts of the original and made some awesome improvements. Check it out.

Confidential P.S. to the Movie Makers of the World: Don’t mess with our Dirty Dancing, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller, or Pretty in Pink… unless, of course, you want to hook Andie up with Duckie in the end. We’d be wholly okay with that change.

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