EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|FOOTLOOSE (director: Herbert Ross ; screenwriter: Dean Pitchford; cinematographer: Ric Waite; editor: Paul Hirsch; music: Kenny Loggins; cast: Kevin Bacon (Ren McCormack), John Lithgow (Reverend Moore), Lori Singer (Ariel Moore), Diane Wiest (Vi Moore), Sarah Jessica Parker (Rusty), Christopher Penn (Willard), Frances Lee Mccain (Ethel Maccormack), Jim Youngs (Chuck); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Craig Zadan/Lewis S. Rachmil; Paramount Pictures; 1984)|
watchable only because the energetic cast does
wonders with the banal story."
by Dennis Schwartz
Ross ("Funny Lady"/"The Sunshine Boys"/"The
Goodbye Girls") directs this period piece 1980s
musical rebel teen movie that exploits teen
frustration without really understanding their
problems though it pretends to. It also tells how
blind censorship promotes hate instead of love in a
conformist town. Dean Pitchford writes the
turgid screenplay. It's watchable only because the
energetic cast does wonders with the banal story.
Kevin Bacon is a dynamo as the reluctant rebel leader.
his parents divorce, clean-cut high school student Ren McCormack
(Kevin Bacon) is relocated with mom (Frances
Lee Mccain) from
Chicago to Beaumont,
a Bible Belt
all-white Protestant small-town in the Midwest that
bans Rock 'n' Roll. The town's neurotic conservative
minister, Moore (John Lithgow), sermonizes
from the pulpit that dance should be banned. we soon
learn that's because his son died in a
rock-music related incident, which he determined was a
sign from the Lord that such music was depraved and
will lead to destroying lives. The conservative town
council not only bans dancing, but books like Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. That's
something the minister doesn't commit to.
attractive high school student daughter Ariel (Lori
Singer) dumps her bully jealous boyfriend Chuck (Jim Youngs) and
dates Ren, after he beats the boyfriend in a game of
"chicken" played with tractors. Senior classmate
Willard (Chris Penn) and his pals soon become friends
of Ren, and the crew eventually gets up enough nerve
to petition the town council for them to have a school
dance. Things get corny but change for the better when
petition leader Ren reminds the elders that in Psalm 149 King David showed
that dancing was a form of prayer.
The background music features the tepid soundtrack selections of singers like Kenny Loggins ("Footloose"/"I'M Free"), John Mellencamp ("Hurts So Good"), Foreigner ("Waiting For A Girl Like You"), Deniece Williams ("Let's Hear It for the Boy"), Jim Steinman and Bonnie Tyler ("Holding Out For A Hero"), and Shalamar ("Dancing In The Sheets").
REVIEWED ON 5/19/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ