So I finally cut the original "Footloose," can you believe it? It's pretty good, and interestingly enough, less hokey and polished than the remake. Kevin Bacon's dance double is a bit obvious. I'm not into Lori Singer's face, and she's clearly not a dancer like Julianne Hough, but she's plenty wild and troubled (unlike my previous assumption of Ariel's character just from viewing the 2011 remake), which is quite ballsy for a 1984 movie, methinks. Chris Penn is adorable as honky-tonk Willard, and the "Let's Hear It For the Boy" dance montage is just everything. Rusty is a fun, colorful supporting character, and I always love seeing SJP in her younger roles. She looks completely different, yet still unmistakably herself.
The original's got a few 80s oddities, like the hair metal, the camera editing tricks, the gauzy balloon and confetti filter during the prom dance, and a high school full of built, adult-looking, male gymnasts, but one thing that I enjoyed more here is the fleshing out of Shaw and Vi's story. I've always thought John Lithgow such a goofy actor, by virtue of "3rd Rock From the Sun" being my first exposure to him, but I forget that he's actually a very decorated performer, and he is brilliantly grave and conflicted as the Reverend. Dianne Wiest also gives a quietly determined performance as the good little preacher's wife.