Critic Consensus: There's not much dancing, but what's there is great. The rest of the time, Footloose is a nice hunk of trashy teenage cheese.
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Critic Reviews for Footloose
"Footloose" turns out to be a sort of Boy Scout version of "Flashdance," a carefully toned-down, overly respectable piece of schmaltz ...
Essential to the result is young Kevin Bacon, superb in the lead part.
Herbert Ross directed this odd but reasonably effective blend of rock music and didactic melodrama.
A cynical and manipulative exercise with little feel for the teen culture it purports to celebrate.
Footloose is a seriously confused movie that tries to do three things, and does all of them badly.
Audience Reviews for Footloose
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.
Sure it doesn't make much sense that the teenagers of this small town that has outlawed dancing for five years could all dance so well, yet this is an enjoyable film with a great soundtrack and John Lithgow as a character who is more complex than your typical zealot antagonist.
That rare brand of teen 80's movie that I don't especially like. Not sure why, I love the 80's, but this one never did anything for me...
|Ren McCormack:||Where, in concert?|
|Willard:||No, behind you.|
|Ren McCormack:||You like Men at Work?|
|Ren McCormack:||Men at work.|
|Willard:||Well, where do they work?|
|Ren McCormack:||No, they don't, they're a music group.|
|Willard:||Well, what do they call themselves?|
|Ren McCormack:||Oh, no! What about the Police?|
|Willard:||What about 'em?|