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FOOTLOOSE: NOT TERRIBLE, JUST DON’T EXPECT TO LEARN ANYTHING Written by Tom Horan THE Footloose remake isn’t going to be on next year’s Oscar shortlist, and it probably won’t be remembered as anything but a remake of the “real” Footloose, but it’s October. It’s wet, it’s dark, and what else are you going to do? The trailer tells you everything you need to know. 2011’s Footloose is a hip, ‘with-it’ take on the original 80’s teen drama that doesn’t do much except update the soundtrack and make what was already a bonkers plot seem even more unlikely. Public dancing is banned in the town of Bomont, until a new kid moves in, kicks up a fuss and helps everybody believe in themselves again. At the very least, it’s a great piece of escapism, if a world where dancing is a crime is your idea of a nice place to escape to. The premise of this film requires the viewer to suspend their disbelief every bit as much as the most farfetched fantasy or sci-fi. It attempts to make dancing appear as a gritty, underground thing, like if Step Up was crossed with The Fast and the Furious. There’s scene in which the main character, Ren McCormack, escapes a bus explosion. Enough said. The problems the kids in Footloose have to deal with are not the most pressing, or convincing, but any problems that can be solved through synchronized dance will hold the audience’s attention. There’s also a scene in which Ren releases his pent-up rage by aggressively dancing around an abandoned barn. It is, and still was in the original, impossible to take seriously. There’s a balancing act to good film direction between making it believable enough to relate to its characters, and idealised enough to give you that warm, life-affirming feeling that makes you forget the world’s troubles. Every film offers some form of escapism as it takes you into another world, but it’s the ones uncannily like our own world that are the most affecting. Light entertainment like Footloose has earned its place in our soppy, optimistic hearts, but nobody should settle for just being entertained by a film. Art has the ability to teach and influence us, so only watching films that reinforce a non-existent, idealised reality isn’t rewarding for anyone. I know I’ll remember Schindler’s List long after I’ve seen twenty films in which a plucky young underdog defies expectations to overcome astounding odds.


FOOTLOOSE: NOT TERRIBLE, JUST DON’T EXPECT TO LEARN ANYTHING