Dear Footloose…(or, “It Came From the 80s!!!”)
While I try my very best to avoid any and every place where I might run into those selfish, annoying creatures of society that many like to call “people”, my vain, egotistical self must head to the gym six days a week in order to look good naked. And upon these travels across the vast wasteland of New Haven, CT, one thing has stuck out at me more than a music video playing on MTV. The 80s have returned with a vengeance. Gone are the loose fitting khaki cargo pants, GAP hoodies, and Aviator sunglasses that populated the late 90s/early 2000s. In their place are skinny jeans, denim jackets, and Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Which is totes cool with me, because I look AMAZING in my skinny jeans, denim jacket, and Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Actually, EVERYONE looks good in wayfarers, except for ugly people. They don’t look good in anything…obviously.
Our fashion is far from the only thing harking back to the glorious birth decade of yours truly. The movie theater marquee over the past few years has featured such familiar titles as Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Fright Night, The Thing, The Karate Kid, Arthur, Clash of the Titans, Conan the Barbarian, etc… I could go on forever about the varying degrees of quality amongst these blasts from the past redos but, frankly, I’m not quite in the mood to burst the blood vessels in my cranium this evening. Let’s just agree that some of these movies were harmless, respectable, well-made films. And others were cat shit pissed on twice, re-eaten by a dog, then defecated back out as dog shit. I should make myself clear that I’m not against the movies that populated my childhood getting remade. I’m just against shitty movies. They just unfortunately, more often than not, go hand in hand.
Now, onto the subject at hand. Footloose. The one thing to remember about me is that, while I adore the horror genre like it’s the bastard child I never wanted, I also am butt crazy addicted to teen films. I’m legit fascinated by the evolution of youth culture, from the 80s, into the 90s (when I was a teen), and to modern day. I mean, hello, I NEVER miss an episode of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, or The Vampire Diaries. Epic television right there, I tell ya. In any event, I was beyond hesitant at the thought of Footloose being remade. While by no means a masterpiece, the original was the embodiment of the 80s teen dance movie. It’s fun, cheesy, and all around 80s-riffic. Then the trailer was released for the remake and I was embarrassed to admit that it kinda, sorta, maybe didn’t look terrible. And dare I say it, even enjoyable. Color me intrigued.
What I didn’t expect, however, was to enjoy it as much as I did. Even though the story (and even a lot of scenes) are identical to the original, director Craig Brewer brought the energy and really delivered. Maybe it’s because of my aforementioned affection for teen movies, or the fact that I used to be a dancer back in my fat days when I was trying to lose weight, but DAMNIT, Footloose was kind of the shit. And by kind of, I mean it totally was. I remember sitting through that wretched Mamma Mia movie a few years back, wondering why in the Hell all the middle aged, ill proportioned housewives were dancing in the aisles. After witnessing Footloose’s infectious mix of country, hip-hop, and 80s pop music paired with the insane dance moves of its talented cast, I know what those fugly old women felt like. Only I obviously have better taste in music than Abba’s greatest hits.
I didn’t want to like you. I had every hope that you would die a quick death at the box office, putting another nail in the coffin of shitty 80s remakes. You’re not flawless, but I’m stoked to have been proven wrong. You are what the Fame remake wished it could have been. When all is said and done you’re not only a good remake, but also fine addition to my never ending love of teen movies. You’re the Pepe’s cheese pizza to my cheat day. The definition of a guilty pleasure.
P.S. Does anyone else think that Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” from the original’s soundtrack is like the best work out song ever? If being a twentysomething straight, white male who lifts weights to that song is wrong, then I do NOT want to be right.
P.P.S. I told you I look AMAZING in my 80s wear!