It tells the story of Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon), an upbeat Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of a local minister (John Lithgow), dancing and rock music have been banned.
For the thirty years of this cult classic, The Late Show Starring Jimmy Falloon had a nice idea of redoing one of the iconic moments of Footloose. This musical film of 1984 has been one of the most celebrated pop culture movies of the last thirty years. Revealing Kevin Bacon as Ren, after his breakout performance in Barry Levinson’s Diner, a nice gem announcing the Indie film movement. Footloose also stars John Lithgow, Diane Wiest, Chris Penn, Lori Singer, and Sarah Jessica Parker in an early role.
In a little town where music and dancing is forbidden by the Reverend (Lithgow), comes Ren from Chicago after the divorce of his parents with his urban ideology of teenage years and his cocky attitude towards everyone. In a very Freudian combat against the Reverend who represents the father of his little community, Ren on his own brings some sense into the fanaticism that slowly started with curfews and escalating to books burnings.
With a somewhat 1950’s feeling, let’s all remember that the 1980’s were a lot about the 1950’s nostalgia with the Reagan and Bush years of American good old values and conservatism, Footloose has a stellar soundtrack that makes even the worst dancer move and dance all over the place. With Kenny loggins’ title track that announces its colors in its opening sequence of the film and the iconic, yes I used this word twice here, final dance sequence. Footloose is also all about what it is to become a man taking your responsibilities and knowing how to have a little fun.
With the scene where Ren comes to the municipal group to ask to have a ball when it reminded me when Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister recalled when he had to face the Congress about how Heavy Metal was the music of the Devil and how it was not music and only music that may have influence kids to misbehave.
It may be corny at moments, but the relationship between Willard (Penn) and Ren is funny, Ariel’s (Singer) daddy problems, and the inner combat of the Reverend on his faith and how he has to let go certain things are many of the plot elements that helps Footloose not being only about a young man trying to dance.
On Blu-Ray, this landmark of 1980’s musicals seems as fresh as when it came out and it feels like the perfect prom film that announces a great summer for students. This is the kind of film that can get on the nerves of people that don’t like musicals but there are no songs sung by the characters and it is more the dancing sequences that makes it a musical. Footloose is a funny little movie that proves to be a crowd pleaser of all ages.